As the co-founder of the Massachusetts Artists Leaders Coalition (MALC), I work to ensure that Massachusetts artists of all disciplines have a voice in public dialogue and key public policy initiatives that impact artists communities and the creative economy.  I and other members of the MALC ensure that we have voices representing the creative economy on a local, state, and federal level.

When Massachusetts established its Creative Economy Council the opera singer in me was very excited to hear what kinds of support and legislation would be brought forth to support performing and visual arts in the state.  Unfortunately, the CEC has focused its efforts on developing the design, videogame, advertising, and film/tv industries, leaving the performing and visual arts left a bit out of the loop.

Performing and visual artists contribute directly to the economy, and drive more business, in several ways.  For example:

  • A friend of mine hangs art exhibitions in community spaces (coffee shops, bookstores). When those businesses hold small exhibition openings, it brings additional visitors onto their sales floors.
  • On the same token, having a band perform at bars, restaurants, and bookstores can bring additional customers who may not otherwise venture into a business.
  • Hiring an artist to design signage and fonts can help a business’s brand and building familiarity.

These are just three small ways that artists contribute to creating economy. What are some other ways? I would love to hear from you below. Let’s show people how artists are a viable part of today’s economy.

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One Response

  1. Dean Grandy

    Thank you for this post. As a visual artist, I am always surprised at how economists and government overlook the ways that artists play into today’s economy. Nice post, Ja-nae.


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