Marvin E. Blum, board member of the Texas Cultural Trust, and Dale W. Brock, vice-chair of the Texas Commission on the Arts, appear in a recent Star-Telegram opinion calling for continued funding of cultural and fine art districts.
Unfortunately, funding for the cultural and fine arts districts program has been stripped out of proposals for the next state budget.
We understand that the Legislature must find places within the budget to trim.
But what we see, with concrete evidence to show, is that the arts are delivering measurable economic value for Texas.
Cutting this program is shortsighted because it has a tremendous multiplying effect and generates economic activity that benefits local communities and generates state tax revenue.
The authors cite recent economic success in the Cultural District:
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth recently concluded its KAWS: Where the End Starts exhibition.
As of mid-January, the exhibition had attracted 84,000 visitors, 75 percent of whom came from outside Fort Worth.
By comparison, an average year for the Modern Art Museum sees about 200,000 visitors in total.
Roughly 1,000 visitors were from outside of the U.S., including Asia, Germany and Turkey.
Sales tax revenues from gift shop sales alone amounted to $84,564.33.
Read the full article, here.