The arts can be a powerful tool in advancing the city’s goals. It is an investment, not a cost. According to Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Economic Prosperity Report for the City of Alexandria, arts and culture:
- Creates 3,500 jobs;
- Pumps $70.7 million into our local economy;
- Generate $2.4 million in City tax revenues;
- Is a key contributor to the city’s $738 million tourism industry;
- Helps educate our kids to compete in the 21st century.
We support the city’s goal of a fiscally strong city with a high quality of life. The arts contribute to both. We support these five areas of investment:
- Funding of a Citywide Cultural Plan – In the recently approved Public Art Plan, it was recommended that the City develop a comprehensive Cultural Plan as a logical next step. We pledge our support for the plan and our assistance in advancing this idea through a robust public engagement process.
- Increased Funding for the City’s Arts Grant Fund ‐‐ We also encourage increasing the City Arts Grant Fund from the current $165k to $200k, critical to ensuring that the arts continue to thrive in Alexandria.
- Strategic Capital Investment in the Arts – There are areas where strategic capital investment makes sense ‐ e.g. the Torpedo Factory renovations as part of the Waterfront plan, the Public Art Plan, venue enhancements. We encourage these.
- Reinvesting in arts education for all ages – Arts education in schools and after‐school programs promote positive youth development and help to prepare our kids for the 21st century workforce. Lifelong learning in the arts provides opportunties for personal growth and community engagement.
- Affordable venue access for arts groups – Nonprofit arts groups operate with lean budgets. A top issue for our members is affordable space for rehearsals and performances.
As residents, voters and/or arts supporters, we believe these modest investments have a dramatic impact on our economy and quality of life. We hope you will vote to support the arts in the upcoming City budget.