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Artists gather to explore their economic potential

Posted: Friday, Apr 19th, 2013

Catherine Rickbone, executive director of Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, stresses the economic importance of the arts during the April 20 presentation.

Nationwide the arts industry generates $135 billion of economic activity each year that supports 4.1 million full-time equivalent jobs, according to a recent study released by Americans for the Arts, a national advocacy group.

In Eugene, the nearest location to Florence that participated in the 2010 study, arts groups and their audiences bring in an estimated $45.6 million annually, sustaining more than 1,700 full-time equivalent jobs.

These statistics, however, do not include the indirect spending related to art events, such as for meals, lodging, souvenirs and fuel costs, which could potentially add millions of dollars to the total economic impact.

But this much is known: Arts mean business.

“People don’t always get that because they’re not in tune to thinking about the arts as business, the arts as an industry, and we are,” said Catherine Rickbone, executive director of Oregon Coast Council for the Arts.

Rickbone presented the study’s findings April 10 during the “Economic Vitality for the Arts” presentation and luncheon, sponsored by Pacific Shores Community of Artisans (PSCA), at Ocean Dunes Golf Links.

More than 50 artists and members of performing and visual arts groups, as well as a few City of Florence employees, attended the gathering to begin discussing the local arts’ economic impact and ways to increase its effectiveness in the area.

“We know we’re very isolated over here on the coast. We’re on the edge of the continent, the edge of the state,” Rickbone said. “There’s basically one road leading into this town, unless you’re on Highway 101.”

For the complete article see the 04-20-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 04-20-2013 paper.

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