Benefits of Culture

Why arts, humanities, and cultural businesses matter.

​The humanities and arts are an intrinsic and vital part of Utah's quality and way of life. Not only that, here are the top five benefits the arts and humanities give back to Utah:

  1. ​Positively impact the state's economy and attract businesses to a community (businesses cite a vibrant arts & cultural scene as a #1 factor for locating).
  2. Are part of UT's cultural DNA, both via our indigenous residents and our LDS pioneers. UT is #1 in the entire country for live arts participation.
  3. Make our communities more attractive, vibrant, connected, livable, and preserve our history and heritage.
  4. Boost creativity, understanding, empathy, and kindness; businesses frequently cite creativity as a #1 valued skill in employees.
  5. Improve graduation rates, creativity, and test scores for children.

We don't just make life better, we are life.​ In more detail, here are further benefits of the humanities and arts:

It's the economy:

  1. As cultural businesses, we employ over 79,000 Utahns
  2. UT’s cultural businesses generate over $3.5 billion in earnings
  3. Nationally, we represent 4.2% of the GDP which is bigger than transportation, tourism, and agriculture
  4. Utah cultural businesses are 3.9 percent of Utah's entire employment and is one of the top two states with the fastest growing # of cultural jobs
  5. Utah businesses say a thriving cultural scene is the #1 factor for choosing where to locate
  6. Businesses cite creativity as the #1 valued trait in employers
  7. Direct income in UT from from historic rehabilitation projects using tax credits: $32,303,365 and 737 jobs over a period of 8 years
  8. Vibrant arts & humanities offerings attract tourists

It's part of Utah's DNA. Utah has a rich tradition of support for arts, humanities, cultural heritage:

  1. Utah's LDS pioneers built a theatre before any other structure
  2. Utah's public lands house the largest collection of Native American rock art in the world
  3. Utah is home to the oldest arts council in the country
  4. Utah is the #1 state in the country for live arts participation (all mediums)
  5. Utah is #1 in the country for attending art exhibits
  6. Utahns check out more children's books than any other state
  7. Utah is #6 in the country for reading literature 
  8. Utah #7 in the country for visiting buildings, neighorhoods, and parks for their historic or design value
  9. 53.6% of Utans personally engage in the arts as musicians, dancers, artists, writers, and more. Research hasn't been done for direct involvement in humanities, but we estimate that it is large!

It's about quality of life:

  1. Arts, humanities, and cultural businesses make our communities more attractive, vibrant, and livable.
  2. In this dog eat dog world, we need to cultivate the kinder side of America through the arts and humanities. Cruelty and violence may reign, but the arts & humanities mitigate violence. Music, dance, literature, history, and the humanities have all outlived negativity.
  3. 10 things the arts teach (compiled by Utah Division of Arts & Museums)

The benefits to children of a well-rounded education that includes required arts and humanities education are many:

  1. Better academic results, better workforce opportunities, and more civic engagement, especially for at-risk children. (1)
  2. Improved performance and grades in reading, math, writing, and other subjects. (2)
  3. Increased creative thinking and problem solving. (3)
  4. Increased positive attitudes towards school and learning. (4)
  5. Less aggression and violent tendencies. (5)
  6. Improved cognitive ability. (6)
  7. Improved community cohesion. (7)
  8. Improved graduation rates. (8)
  9. Improved motor skills and self-discipline (particularly from physical arts & humanities such as dance). (9)
  10. Improved social interaction. (10)
  11. Improved mental health. (11)

Sources:

Data is either from our State of UT Culture report OR:

  1. https://www.arts.gov/file/2684
  2. A 2002 report by the Arts Education Partnership revealed that schoolchildren exposed to drama, music and dance are often more proficient at reading, writing, and math. & The 2006 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum study on art education showed a link between arts education and improved literacy skills. & A 2011 study called “Reinvesting in Arts Education” found that integrating arts with other subjects can help raise achievement levels. & Active Education: Physical Education, Physical Activity and Academic Performance. & An Evaluation of the Relationship between Academic Performance and Physical Fitness Measures in California Schools
  3. A study (http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/champions/pdfs/Learning.pdf) of more than 2,000 middle-school students by researchers at Columbia University found that students who had participated in at least three years of in-school arts instruction scored significantly higher on an instrument measuring creative thinking and that these students self- reported much higher rates of positive attitudes towards school and learning than did their peers who had experienced less arts education.
  4. Same study as 1.
  5. Evaluation of a six-month program that involved youth in drama reported that these participants demonstrated less aggressive and violent tendencies, while also exhibiting more pro-social behaviors like cooperation and self control compared to before participating. http://www.traumacenter.org/products/pdf_files/jsv5_2_2006.pdf & A study of Missouri public schools in 2010 found that greater arts education led to fewer disciplinary infractions and higher attendance, graduation rates and test scores.
  6. A study by research kinesiologists found that students showed improved cognitive ability after participating in moderate exercise. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306452209001171 & A meta-analysis that took into account 44 studies that had sought to identify correlations & between physical activity among children and their cognitive performance concluded that there is a significant relationship. & The Association Between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance
  7. A 2005 report by the Rand Corporation called “A Portrait of the Visual Arts” argues that art education does more than just give students a creative outlet. It can actually help connect them to the larger world, ultimately improving community cohesion.
  8. The Center for Arts Education published a report in 2009 that suggests arts education may improve graduation rates.

  9. http://www.phitamerica.org/Page1139.aspx & Physical Education in Kindergarten Promotes Fundamental Motor Skill Development

  10. http://www.livestrong.com/article/529108-what-are-the-benefits-of-physical-education-in-school/

  11. Do the Duration and Frequency of Physical Education Predict Academic Achievement, Self-concept, Social skills, Food consumption, and Body Mass Index?

 


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