Councilwoman Bass calls for hearing on arts-sector impact on regional economy

At Thursday’s City Council meeting, a resolution sponsored by Eighth District Councilwoman Cindy Bass calling for a public hearing regarding the impact of arts and cultural events on Philadelphia’s economy was unanimously passed.

However, a date has not yet been set for the hearing.

Bass pushed for the adoption after the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance released a 19-page, “Arts, Culture and Economic Prosperity in Greater Philadelphia” report last week.

Report findings

According to the report, Philadelphia’s arts and cultural sector has $3.3 billion yearly impact on the regional economy and generates nearly $170 million in local and state taxes, produces $490 million in household income in Philadelphia and supports nearly 44,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

“These examples demonstrate that the arts and culture sector is a vital regional asset that supports thousands of jobs, benefits businesses in every industry, and helps grow our economy,” read Bass’ resolution. “There is a great need for further exploration as to how the City can help foster and encourage the growth of our arts organizations.”

Joe Corrigan, Bass’ spokesman, said the purpose of the hearing is to draw more attention to the arts and its importance on the economy.

“We are just trying to maintain attention on the arts as an economic engine for the city and the region,” he said. “Culture, arts and parks is what makes Philadelphia a great city.”

Tom Kaiden, president of The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and NewsWorks “Creative Connector,” plans to attend the hearing.

“It’s great because what you have is a City Council being proactive in terms of the development of the economy including production of jobs and the overall quality of life for its residents,” said Kaiden.

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