The Public Life of the Arts in America

2000. Joni Maya Cherbo (ed.), Margaret J. Wyszomirski (ed.)

Art and entertainment constitute America's second-largest export. Most Americans--96 percent, to be exact--are somehow involved in the arts, whether as audience participants, hobbyists, or via broadcast, recording, video, or the Internet. The contribution of the arts to the U.S. economy is stunning: the nonprofit arts industry alone contributes over 857 billion dollars per year, and American artists enjoy world-class status. Despite its size, quality, and economic impact, the arts community is not articulate about how to serve the public interest, and few citizens have an appreciation of the many public policies that influence American arts and culture. The contributors to this volume argue that support for the arts and culture is good economic and trade policy and contributes to the quality of life and community, while it sustains the creativity of American artists and organizations.

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