Mike the Mad Biologist

One of the things Massachusetts has done well is supporting the arts. I’ve mentioned before how important the arts are economically, but let’s turn it over to The Boston Phoenix:

It may not sound like much, but more than one percent of the American workforce is supported by nonprofit arts groups. That means more people make their living from the arts than from accountancy and law. The field of arts employs more people than the nation’s police forces, farms, and fisheries. Arts workers outnumber computer programmers, postal workers, and firefighters. When viewed in the proper context, the number of arts workers is staggering….

In 2002, the city’s [Boston's] so-called creative industry — its seventh largest industry– added $10.7 billion to Boston’s total economic output, and $12.7 billion to the greater metro area.

Shame on the governor and legislature. This is penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Comments

  1. #1 Sigmund
    May 15, 2009

    Percentage-wise there may be far more people employed in the arts than lawyers but lawyers are disproportionately represented in the area that counts – national and state politicians – almost 50% of whom come from this profession.

  2. #2 D. C. Sessions
    May 15, 2009

    The field of arts employs more people than the nation’s police forces, farms, and fisheries. Arts workers outnumber computer programmers, postal workers, and firefighters.

    I did note that the linked article is more than a year old, but it makes a compelling point.

    Given that the arts are so important to the economy, it makes sense in the current state budget crisis to lay off government workers employed in the above fields to fund continued employment of people in the arts.

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