Local News station WTKR has a report on the value of the arts to even a small community like Virginia Beach:
“Art is not a luxury. It is a business. It’s an industry. And there’s a return on the investment on it,” Gray said.
For the first time, a comprehensive study of the arts in Virginia Beach shows the city makes money by underwriting artists and performers. The study shows that on average, a person passing through a gallery or stopping by a museum spends another $30 somewhere else in the city.
“The ripple effect goes very deep. It boosts our economy. It’s an industry,” she added. And, the arts industry is responsible for 1,400 Virginia Beach jobs, according to the researchers.
Gray says this groundbreaking research has turned around how many think of the arts in the city. When it comes time to trim budgets, she can now tell city leaders the arts equal income, just like any other industry.”That it really is a vital part, just as any hotel is a business, so is the arts.”
Virginia Beach was one of 116 cities studied by an arts research group. That included galleries, symphonies, and museums. It’s a $56 million industry in Virginia Beach.