According to the facts and experts cited in this article, the new arts sector in Cleveland in 1994 generated $165 million in revenues for the city. The sports teams generated $79 million.
In Pittsburgh, the new arts district draws up to 35% more visitors each year than the sports arenas in the city.
In the last 15 yrs. the trend has been that a city's economic development and growth has followed the arts.
Art and culture creates a "non threatening zone" where all kinds of people can come together. In addition to economic growth, art can help with civic development, resulting in a more civil society.
Yes, the arts are very important and have always played a resonating role in people's lives.
Photo is ad for Pittsburgh gallery crawl event
Here's a link that local artist Greg Coates sent me about the arts in Newark N.J.: