Why The Arts Matter

Talk with 100 people and you will hear 100 stories about ways in which the arts have enriched their personal lives.  Arts advocacy helps people to see more clearly the ways in which the arts are a force not just in their personal lives but also within their communities.

The arts enhance the quality of our lives. They make us richer, not only financially but also culturally and creatively.

  • The arts preserve our cultural heritage and support ethnic diversity. These TPAC supported organizations in 2009-2010 highlight that diversity: Odaiko Sonora, Rusyny Folk Ensemble, Seven Pipers Scottish Society, Arizona Early Music Society, Arizona Balalaika Orchestra, Tucson Jewish Community Center, The Dambe Project, and Tucson Sino Choir.
  • One of the significant ways we make community is through the sharing of arts and culture.  The arts are central to creating a sense of community, a sense of place, as evidenced through such programs as Tucson Meet Yourself, International Mariachi Conference, and the All Souls Procession.
  • The arts provide a creative outlet and a means to engage our youth. TPAC’s youth scholarship program identifies and recognizes talented high school seniors.  In 2009-2010 TPAC also supported Voices Community Stories Past and Present, Tucson Girls Chorus, SharMoore Children’s Productions, Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus, and Tucson Children’s Museum.
  • The arts participate in and inform civic dialogue. Through the arts we enhance personal development, improve social cohesion, reduce isolation, and create a more active citizenry.  TPAC helps residents find self-expression and meaning, and enables them to pursue lifelong learning. TPAC aids in community networking and empowers individuals to build skills necessary for effective dialogue through such programs as Start-Tucson: Workshops for teaching Artists and Arts learning professionals.

Beyond their intrinsic value, Arts and Culture drive a creativity-based economy.

  • The arts earn tax revenue for local and state government. According to the American for the Arts, in FY 2005, non-profit arts organizations in Pima County generated more than $2.5 million in revenue for local governments, and more than $2.7 million in revenue for state government.
  • The arts attract tourists and new tourism dollars.  Public support of cultural tourism plays a critical role in community revitalization as well as in the surge in tourism, which is one of the fastest-growing economic markets in the country today. Sixty-five percent of U.S. travelers include cultural events as a part of their trips. Pima County visitors spend an average of $41 per person at arts and culture events (residents spend an average of $30).

“Logic will get you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere.”

– Albert Einstein

City of Peace mural by Michael Schwartz.