Economy and Business
Fri April 5, 2013
For Jobs, Some Suggest Funding Arts
Some people say the proposed state budget could be a better job creator, if more funds are shifted into the arts.
Wisconsin is no better than 41st among states in recent job creation. Milwaukee Art Museum director Dan Keegan says Wisconsin could do better at luring entrepreneurs to the state if there's a more vibrant arts and cultural scene. Keegan told a state budget hearing Thursday that a recent national poll shows strong arts, cultural and entertainment activities are important to CEOs.
“We must exude creative energy, talent and enterprise. The arts are at the core of this driver. But Wisconsin is only spending 15 cents per capita on the arts, an area that holds a key to new business development, talent retention and next-generation entrepreneurship.”
Keegan says taxpayer-funded arts spending in Minnesota is $5.77 per person. Lisa England is an arts marketer in Milwaukee. She says the creative community would expand in Wisconsin, with a little boost in tax dollars.
“I would respectfully ask that you include in the budget monies for the Wisconsin Arts Board and also incentives for business to choose local creative service providers and economic development incentives for young people like myself that desire to start and run creative businesses and bring creative dollars into Wisconsin.”
Republicans who control the State Capitol have generally focused on other ways to help business, with a combination of tax cuts, easing of regulations and giving managers more power over labor.