Confusing Arts and Culture in Minneapolis

Posted by on Apr 23, 2013 in Blog | No Comments

I received an email blast with this link to an article,?http://www.minnpost.com/cityscape/2013/04/counting-arts-economic-drivers-dicey-proposition, in which the author reports on a Creative Vitality Index Report that rates Minneapolis as the sixth strongest arts community in the nation. ?The author goes on to mock this by maintaining that although she is “all for the arts,” the figure the report cites to argue the case for arts-as-economic-driver only makes up “less than one percent of economic activity” of Minneapolis (even if you add Bloomington and St. Paul). ?She concludes: “we should not delude ourselves into believing that if we merely concentrate on being hip and art-driven, we will automatically attract a wealthy and educated creative class that will in turn generate commerce and jobs.” ?I agree with this statement. ?But this conclusion is based on a false premise. ?The arts do contribute to the local economy in many ways that are not immediately apparent in a measure that?focuses only on the arts as commodity?rather than viewing them as integrated in the well being of the community as a whole. ?That’s one of the reasons that this approach won’t hold up to scrutiny and it points up the danger of confusing the arts with the culture of a city in general.

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