Performing arts in higher education: An economic generator for Baton Rouge
Just as creativity and artistic expression project paradox and irony, the College of Music & Dramatic Arts is one of LSU's most productive units when measured in terms of economic impact to the Baton Rouge metropolitan area.
Besides the 1.6 million plus people who see the Tiger Marching Band in live performances, the College of Music & Dramatic Arts – comprised of Swine Palace, LSU Opera, School of Music and Department of Theatre-generates considerable income to the Baton Rouge community, tax income, and most of all jobs.
An estimate of the economic impact and job creation of entities like the CMDA can be drawn from a study by Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading non-profit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. This organization is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and to creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. A national economic impact study by this organization entitled Arts & Economic Prosperity IV studied nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences in 182 study regions.
• Based on the audiences that CMDA students, faculty and guest artists attract to campus, $13,300,131 is spent annually.
• The audiences that attend our performances support 465 full-time equivalent jobs.
• Dollars paid to community residents as a result of those expenditures by the College of Music & Dramatic Arts and their audiences: $11,297,911.
• Government benefits as well through license fees, taxes as a result of expenditures by CMDA students, faculty and audiences. Local government revenue: $532,917 and State government revenue: $683,627.
Besides the direct and indirect jobs and spending supported by the CMDA, a performing arts training unit is essential to any great university.
Contrary to popular belief, it would be more expensive not to have a College of Music & Dramatic Arts than to have one. Our college generates greater economic impact than the size of the allocated budgets. Taken together with the Tiger Marching Band – the most visible unit on campus after athletics – the CMDA brings to Baton Rouge measureable amounts of generated income and the immeasurable benefits of pride, creativity, civic identity and the evocative culture of live performance.
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