Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Governors Look to Arts, Culture and Design to Boost Economic Growth

With concerns over job creation and business growth holding a prominent—and persistent—position on policy agendas today, governors are increasingly finding innovative ways to support economic growth, according to a new report out today from the National Governors Association (NGA).
New Engines of Growth:  Five Roles for Arts, Culture, and Design focuses on the role that arts, culture and design can play in governors’ policies to create jobs and boost their economies in the short run and transition to an innovation-based economy in the long run.
In particular, arts, culture and design can assist states with economic growth because they can serve the following roles:
  • Provide a fast-growth, dynamic industry cluster;
  • Help mature industries become more competitive;
  • Provide the critical ingredients for innovative places;
  • Catalyze community revitalization; and
  • Deliver a better-prepared workforce.
“Economic growth is a top priority for all governors,” said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a member of NGA’s Executive Committee. “They are using an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach throughout all state agencies to put in place policies and programs using arts, culture and design as a means to enhance economic growth.
Globalization and the changing economy have affected individual states differently, but all are searching for ways to support high-growth industries, accelerate innovation, foster entrepreneurial activity, address unemployment, build human capital and revive distressed areas. Using the five roles as a framework, state leaders—governors, economic development officials and state arts agencies—have a way to intentionally and strategically make arts, culture and design an important part of an economic growth agenda.
“As I travel across this country, I have found one thing to be true in state after state: art works,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “The National Governor's Association has laid out 5 strategies currently employed by states to use the arts to help strengthen local economies and drive innovation. I look forward to working with our network of state arts agencies to support governors in this work.”
This report was produced by NGA with funding support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
To learn more about state strategies to boost economic growth and job creation, please visit www.nga.org/center.

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