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Report shows Michigan's arts & culture sector generates $462M in economic activity

Dani Davis

A new report suggests that for every $1 Michigan invests in arts and culture, $51 is pumped back into the state’s economy. 

The Creative State Michigan report is based on data gathered from 10% of Michigan’s nonprofit arts and culture sector. It shows that 211 organizations generated $462,791,322 dollars in economic activity.

Mike Latvis is with ArtServe Michigan, the group behind the report. He says the plan is to take the findings to lawmakers in Lansing, and show them the creative sector needs to be part of Michigan’s revitalization:

"We really want to show that arts funding isn’t just a handout; we have a significant impact on Michigan’s economy. And an investment in the arts is an investment in the state."

The report looks at data from 2009, when state arts funding was around $8 million. Today, state arts funding is much less, around $1.5 million.

Jennifer Goulet is president of ArtServe Michigan. She says what they're trying to do with the report is "really demonstrate that the arts have a powerful economic return. There is a smartness in investing in the arts. It’s not a nice thing to have that you can simply toss aside when you know times are tough."

The report also shows that more than $2 billion in tourism dollars are spent on arts and culture, more than golf, skiing, hunting, fishing and boating combined.

The full report can be viewed here.

Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.
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