Here it is, June 2013. It is hard to believe we embark on another Hurricane Season until the end of November, observe the Summer Solstice June 21st, as well enjoy this “school’s out” time of year.
Of late, I am sure you have been learning of positive economic trends for our local, state, and national economies. The County Commission continues to steward three of our main County economic engines, the Airport (FLL), Port Everglades, and Hospitality/Tourism. However in this newsletter, I would also like to showcase the importance of Broward’s art and culture sectors to a healthy local economy.
Broward’s art and culture industries are estimated to generate $230 million in economic activity, support more than 6,400 jobs, generate some $157 million in household income, and most impressively, deliver $21.9 million in local and state revenue. That is why one of the County Commission’s seven officially adopted Countywide Visions and Goals is ”Maintain and Enhance a Community with Accessible, Vibrant Arts and Culture, Recreation, and Learning Opportunities.”
Simply put – the arts and culture sectors are integral to our daily lives and a strong local economy. The overall business sector recognizes the importance of these facts. In 2012, Business for the Arts of Broward (BFAB) was formed. It is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that engages businesses and business leaders in advocacy and education about the importance of a vibrant art and cultural community. Broward County’s Cultural Division is partnering with BFAB to launch Power2Give, an on-line fundraising platform that allows nonprofit cultural organizations to post fundable projects. BFAB will then match the arts/cultural organization’s fundraising efforts up to $10,000.
Broward also has a nationally recognized model Public Art/Art in Public Places Program. Up to 2% of the capital construction budget for nearly all of the County’s construction projects must have a public art component. As a result, Broward County has an inventory of 244 interior and exterior public artworks many of which are located at the Airport (FLL) and Port Everglades, for viewing by visitors and residents alike, as well as at County parks and libraries.
So the next time you hear someone say – “The cultural arts are a luxury we cannot afford.” – You will be able to respond – “No, it is the reverse, we cannot afford not to have and support cultural arts. Viable cultural arts are economically vital to our communities.”
Let me also take this opportunity to wish all of you a Happy Father’s Day, June 16th and a reminder to observe Flag Day, June 14th. As always if you have a question or concern you would like to discuss with me, please contact my office at 954-357-7006, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.