At this point, there’s no denying the importance of the arts in the Triangle. The Raleigh arts sector alone pumps $143.5 million into the local economy. And this output doesn’t drop off in other areas of the Triangle. The Durham Arts Council generated $125.5 million in economic activity in 2012. These numbers are fun, but how much do you really know about the art sector’s impact?
In Raleigh alone, the arts support the equivalent of about 5,700 full-time jobs. And that’s not even taking into account Durham or Chapel Hill! So yeah, the economic impact of the arts in the Triangle is enormous. But when we start talking about child development and academic achievement, that’s where the impact really starts to become jaw dropping.
The Americans for the Arts have found that children who regularly participate in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement. Four times! Other areas in which the arts have been proven to enhance child development include motor skills, language development, decision making, visual learning, inventiveness and cultural awareness.
We’ve seen the impact the arts can have on academic achievement firsthand through the development of our Kidznotes students. For example, of fifth-grade students who’ve spent at least a year in our program, 80 percent have scored proficient or higher in their fifth-grade end-of-grade math tests. This compares to just 36 percent of their classroom peers.
So, remember people. The arts are important for your city.