Head of NEA sees arts as economic boost

    The new chairmen of the National Endowment for the Arts hails Philadelphia for its use of the arts as an economic engine.

    The new chairmen of the National Endowment for the Arts hails Philadelphia for its use of the arts as an economic engine.

    The chairman toured the city Tuesday to promote his agenda for funding cultural projects.

    Rocco Landesman has been on the job for about six months, and the first thing the former Broadway producer did was change the slogan of the NEA from “A Great Nation Deserves Great Art” to “Art Works.”

    The change reflects an emphasis on culture as an economic sector, particularly arts as a component of urban renewal.

    Landesman says the economy is forcing the NEA to use arts funding in concert with other stimulous projects, which might mean that not every small township can have its own orchestra.


    Landesman:
    Sometimes there aren’t arts organizations that are worthwhile recipients. We’re not going to concentrate just in the big cities, but we are going to concentrate in areas where there is art worth supporting.

    Locally, some leaders of cultural organizations and urban planners say cultural programs often have an indirect economic impact and they’re urging Landesman to consider the social impact of arts.

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