Establishing Value for the Arts in DeSoto
Imagine. DeSoto, TX
A recent poll conducted by Americans for the Arts found that “Americans are highly engaged in the arts and believe more strongly than ever that the arts promote personal well-being, help us understand other cultures in our community, are essential to a well- rounded K-12 education, and that government has an important role in funding the arts.” 1 While city leaders acknowledge that money spent on the arts in DeSoto is vital to stimulating ongoing growth of the city, it is important for tax payers to feel assured that investing in the arts is an investment in the lives of residents. Conveying these tangible benefits will require constant and relevant communication with the public, offering many points of entry for active engagement. DeSoto citizens represent lifelong residents and newcomers who now call DeSoto home. To gain public trust, the City must demonstrate how the arts have direct and positive impacts on individuals and families.
When public spaces are vibrant and reflect the life of a community, arts, culture and creativity are among its most powerful assets. They distinguish each community and allow residents to better understand and celebrate the uniqueness of their shared experiences. Arts, culture and creativity are competitive tools. They add value to our lives by strengthening the economy, supporting workforce development, increasing options for education and youth development, incentivizing redevelopment, increasing and elevating cultural equity. Now more than ever, the City through its Arts Commission, can provide a variety of ways to demonstrate and measure how “the arts bring value to a community.” As elected officials look ahead at budget limitations and increased demands for civic resources, continued arts funding will depend on strong leadership and visible advocacy for the arts.
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