Arts seen boosting quality of life

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The arts and culture industry in the Charlotte area, which pumps almost $158 million a year into the local economy, improves the quality of life in the region, a new report says.

More than nine in 10 local residents believe arts, science and history groups boost the quality of life in the community, says the report,  which was conducted by the Charlotte-based Arts and Science Council.

Almost as many believe a vibrant arts community help attract businesses and people to the area.

Eight in 10 are supportive of using government funds for the arts, the report says, and more than two in three are in favor of using 1 percent of the cost of constructing public buildings to fund art for the structures.

More than eight in 10 residents believe arts education benefits students by boost their achievement in academic subjects, the report says.

A separate study, conducted by Americans for the Arts and released in June, says the arts and culture industry supports 4,771 full-time equivalent jobs in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area.

Each year, that study says, more than 3.8 million people attend arts and culture events in the region, with the average local attendee spending $20.43 a year on related costs, and the average non-resident spending $34.

Together, jobs generated by the arts and money spent by event-goers funnels more than $14 million in tax revenues to state and local government coffers, the study says.

Nationally, it says, the nonprofit arts industry generates $103.1 billion in event-related spending and supports more jobs than accountants, auditors or lawyers.

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