A Case for the Arts as Economic Force

Facing a potential funding squeeze, Silicon Valley's arts community is launching a lobbying campaign hoping to show that the arts are more than a cultural experience—they are an economic engine for the region. A six-page economic report prepared by AMH Consultants and presented to the San Jose Arts Commission last week details how spending at artistic events stimulates the local economy, David A. Sylvester writes in the San Jose Mercury News. Studying the economic benefits of the arts represents a shift in thinking. “People don't stop and think of the arts as an important piece of the economy,” said Daniel Fenton, president of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We believe it's important to see the arts as an industry.”