Arts: Funding The Arts–It’s Everyone’s Business

 A Column by Kevin Howard

A Column by Kevin Howard

In the arts world, ticket and admission prices only pay for a fraction of the cost of production and administration.

That means that there is generally a 40-60% gap that must be found through other sources – grants, state and federal support, private and corporate philanthropy.

Cape Cod’s cultural community faces unique challenges in this regard, lacking the contributions of large utilities and other household name companies that, while benefiting from the purchasing power of the region, are headquartered in other, more urban areas where their support is typically found.

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Also, strong corporate support is found for those organizations and venues who have a national profile, including television or cable broadcasts.

We are very thankful for the incredible support that is received from the local and regional banks, and the many locally-owned businesses who stretch to try to meet the substantial need to keep not only the arts and cultural community strong, but to impact the expansive health and human service need in the community.

The annual Pops By The Sea Concert in Hyannis is one of the largest annual events put on by the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod.

The annual Pops By The Sea Concert in Hyannis is one of the largest annual events put on by the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod.

We are very luck in the commonwealth to have the Massachusetts Cultural Council which directly funds a myriad of programs that support cultural and artistic development state-wide.

Their programs include the Cultural Investment Portfolio, Adams Grants, Local Cultural Council Grants, STARS and YouthReach, all of which have a targeted area.

So why should there be state investment? The Cape’s non-profit arts scene may have a by-product of community enrichment, but it is also big business, according to data submitted to the Cultural Data Project, a requirement of the Cultural Investment Portfolio funding.

A recent report done by ArtsBoston revealed that non-profit arts organizations contribute nearly $1 billion to the Greater Boston economy per year.

“Anecdotally, we’ve always known that arts and culture are a big business,” said Catherine Peterson, Executive Director of ArtsBoston. “It’s the first time that we’ve actually had access to the data.”The Arts Factor report stated that when spending induced by patronizing the arts — such as on parking and restaurant meals — was counted, artistic and cultural institutions pumped an additional $450 million into the region’s economy. Peterson said the report demonstrated the social and economic clout of artistic and cultural non-profits.

The impact is no less true here on Cape Cod.

Estimates are also that for every $1 of state invest, there is a $5 return in tax revenue. If only all of our tax investments had such a strong yield.

TD Bank Summer Concert Series Once Again Showcases Cape’s Top Bands

The TD Bank Summer Concert Series, presented by the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, features the best of established and emerging musicians in eight Cape Cod towns for the month of July. To find out who is playing when and at which venue, click here.

Bring a blanket, bring a picnic, bring your dancing shoes. This is a family-friendly event Mondays through Fridays from 6-7:30 p.m. The concerts are also sponsored in part by Cape Cod Broadcasting.

 Kevin Howard is the President and CEO of the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod.