“ECONOMICS OF ART”: The Good
The California Arts Council
recently published a study of the arts industry in California which shows
that the non-profit arts organizations in California producing $5.4
yearly, employing l60,000 people and generated $300 million in state and
local taxes in 2001-2002. According to Alberto Rafols, Executive Director
of Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County, “California’s ‘creative
industry’ is finally being recognized as one of the most important in the
And we in San Mateo County
believe that that there are untold
treasures yet to be
discovered and enjoyed
by our multi-communities. Let us continue moving in the
right direction, highlighting and integrating arts and culture into those
communities as powerful economic tools. Using the Santa Cruz model let us
also continue to develop our ties with local government, the business
sector, the San Mateo County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and of course
the arts community so that we can all continue to enjoy the multitude of
treasures our community has to offer.
ARTS FUNDING: An Investment in Innovation
By Bruce Chizen, CEO of Adobe
Few business leaders would
dispute the value the arts bring to the communities where we live and
work. Without trivializing the countless other components needed to build
a great community, an active art scene -- and the atmosphere of creativity
it fosters -- adds to the texture and vibrancy of a city.
Artists, musicians, writers --
and software engineers -- agree that ideas beget ideas and that creativity
does not take place in a vacuum. Many experts believe there is a direct
link between the level of creativity that exists in a community and the
degree to which local businesses innovate and grow. It's not difficult to
draw connections between compelling art exhibitions and new product ideas;
between inspiring stage performances and innovative business solutions; or
between great classroom experiences and children who go on to college and
I recently read a perspective
from someone in the local arts community that said, "If innovation is
Silicon Valley's franchise, then supporting environments where creativity
thrives is a win-win proposition." I second that opinion. A software
company's workforce is its most critical asset, and the drive for
creativity and inspiration doesn't turn off at the end of the workday.
Arts and cultural organizations help promote the kind of creative thinking
that produces better products, more loyal customers and outstanding
My firsthand experience with
local organizations such as the Children's Discovery Museum and the San
Jose Museum of Art have shown me how innovative programs can inspire and
enrich an entire community. Many of my peers have had similar experiences,
yet, as a business community we have not sustained an active dialogue
about how to help arts organizations thrive in Silicon Valley.
The challenge of building
support for the arts cannot be solved with government resources alone.
According to the California Arts Council, the agency's total annual budget
for this year drops our state to 50 the in the nation in government art
spending at less than 3 cents per person. Because we are the leading
economic force in the state, Silicon Valley companies are in a unique
position to help reverse this abysmal trend. But that can only happen when
business leaders recognize that cultivating creativity in the community is
important to the long-term health and success of our enterprises.
Like many companies, Adobe
Systems is committed to helping make the communities where we operate
better and stronger. Historically, our philanthropic emphasis has been on
education and serious humanitarian issues such as hunger and homelessness.
Increasingly, however, we are
expanding our focus to include the long-neglected arts organizations that
we believe will play an important role in helping Adobe and other Silicon
Valley companies innovate and thrive for years to come.
To my peers in the valley:
Let's convene members of the California Arts Council, the Arts Council
Silicon Valley and local community and public officials to find solutions
that benefit the arts, business and the community overall. Then, let's be
as committed to that collaboration as we are to building the great
products and successful companies this region is known for throughout the
BRUCE CHIZEN is chief executive
officer of Adobe Systems.
He wrote this article for the
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California Coastal Art & Poetry
The California Coastal Commission invites California K-12 students to
submit artwork or poetry with a coastal or marine theme to the annual
Coastal Art & Poetry Contest. Up to 8 winners will be selected to win $100
gift certificates to an art supply or book store, and each winner's
sponsoring teacher will receive a $40 gift certificate for educational
supplies. Winners may have their work featured on the Commission Web site
and materials. Entries must be postmarked by January 31, 2005 to be
eligible. For contest rules and entry forms, visit
email@example.com, or call (800) COAST-4U.
Arts License Plate
Starting January 1, 2005, the
cost of the Arts License Plate will increase. Governor Schwarzenegger
recently signed legislation by Senator Jack Scott (D-Altadena) that will
increase the cost of the plate from $30 to $50 (Renewals will increase
from $15 to $40). It is estimated that the added fees will generate an
additional $1.5 million to bolster arts support in communities across the
state. This adjustment marks the first increase in 10 years for the plate
and places it in line with the cost of other specialty plates. However, if
you purchase plates BEFORE January 1, you may still pay the old
price and save $20.
Designed by noted Northern California artist Wayne Thiebaud, the Arts
Plate is the most popular specialty plate in California with more than
122,000 plates sold since 1994 and raising more than $6.8 million.
Proceeds from the plate sales benefit the programs of the California Arts
Council including arts education and local arts programming. The Arts
License Plate was the first plate in the nation whose revenue solely
benefited the arts.
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