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New Creative Investment

GREENSBORO SCIENCE CENTER

In 2009, the citizens of Greensboro approved a $30 million bond to support the expansion and enhancement of the Greensboro Science Center. They leveraged these dollars, and without question, the Science Center is a shining star. Municipal investment led to private investment, which led to economic development, impact and success.

STEVEN TANGER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

In 2016 a private/public partnership was formed to build a cultural anchor in Downtown Greensboro. Private dollars led to public dollars resulting in the state-of-the-art 3000 seat venue. No one questions the positive outcome that will result—Even Alexander Hamilton is coming to town!

THE ASK IS SIMPLE

Using American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funds, ArtsGreensboro asks Guilford County and the City of Greensboro each to allocate $2.5 million to support the creative sector.

ARTSGREENSBORO WILL MATCH UP TO ONE-THIRD.

The investment provides creatives, artists, and arts organizations tools and resources to enable them to become financially stronger and more outwardly-focused. With an emphasis on professional and business development, entrepreneurialism, cooperation and collaboration, artist and organizations working within the creative economy will emerge sustainable and better prepared to succeed (thrive) in a post-pandemic environment.

THE CASE: ARTS + THE ECONOMY

ArtsGreensboro must help strengthen the arts ecology of Guilford County. Too many arts organizations are not sustainable without external investment in bold plans. Funds are necessary to facilitate longer artistic planning calendars, transformational programming, sophisticated marketing and collaborations necessary to engage new audiences and generation of supporters. A sector-wide marketing effort is essential to highlight the best work of local artists and arts organizations. Take advantage of this crisis to come out stronger.

Michael Kaiser, | President | DeVos Institute for Arts Management

A strong and growing creative sector is the backbone to a vibrant community. Having artists and other creatives live and work in our community drives community and economic outcomes. We know this because, as a city, we benchmark ourselves against communities that have strong creative communities: Austin (TX), Raleigh (NC), Columbus (OH), Pittsburgh (PA). Each invests significantly more in their arts ecosystem.
What else do our benchmark cities have in common? They have a stronger arts community because they invest in the arts at the local level. They have more for-profit art entities. Artists can make a successful living. Their top ten arts institutions’ average budget is 150% higher than Greensboro’s top organization’s average budget.

THE CURRENT SITUATION

CONFIDENTIAL ASSESSMENT OF 21 ARTS GROUPS (MAY 2021):

• Two showed a profit in 2019, 2020 and project a profit in 2021 and 2022
• Nineteen had at least one year with an operating deficit
• Eleven projected an operating deficit for 2021
• The aggregate net cash flow for all 21 over four years was a negative $2M
• BIPOC organizations are exponentially smaller and much more fragile

THE OUTCOMES

INVESTMENT OUTCOMES, COUNTY-WIDE

  • ATTRACTING AND INCREASING TOURISM
  • THRIVING CREATIVE BUSINESSES
  • RETENTION OF TALENT
  • POSITIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH

INVESTING IN THE CREATIVE ECOSYSTEM PRODUCES A RIPPLE EFFECT:

  • A VIBRANT, THRIVING ECONOMY, PRODUCES NEIGHBORHOODS THAT ARE MORE LIVELY, COMMUNITIES THAT ARE MORE ENERGIZED, AND MORE TOURISTS AND RESIDENTS DRAWN TO AN AREA
  • A MORE CONNECTED POPULATION WITH DIVERSE GROUPS SHARING
    COMMON EXPERIENCES, SHARING NEW PERSPECTIVES, AND UNDERSTANDING EACH OTHER BETTER

COMMUNITY IMPACT: STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT

ARTS THROUGH IT ALL