The statistics are piling up about the effectiveness of buy local campaigns. The American Independent Business Alliance recently published new statistics from a myriad of sources that indicate strong buy local & independent programs consistently boost retail.
So why are more local arts groups not jumping on this idea?
Supporting local arts is an under-publicized adjunct to Buy Local campaigns. I’m not sure why arts and culture organizations aren’t shouting the overwhelming economic benefits of attending local performances and frequenting local businesses that support the arts. A recent article from UrbanLand, “Investing in Arts Development” states that non-profit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity, 5.7 million full-time jobs and $30 billion in tax revenue.
Sure, arts organizations have traditionally been more focused on development and education. But arts also feed local economies. Attending local performances and events saves gas, both yours and the performers. When performers can work locally and still earn a fair wage, that money finds it’s way back into the community. And a vibrant arts scene contributes to an atmosphere that will attract more professionals and creative industry.
At a time when arts funding is dwindling, local arts organizations need to band together and tap into the messaging that is already working. Play Local is a no-brainer. People like to make a difference, to feel good about contributing to their local community. A Play Local campaign is an easy way to remind them of another easy and enriching way that they can.