Hoeffel says arts would be center of economic development

Cites Philadelphia and Norristown of examples of how to tie economy to the arts

With only a week left before the primary election, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Hoeffel is hustling around Pennsylvania to get in front of voters. He was in Philadelphia’s LOVE Park on Monday, May 10 describing his Arts and Culture platform.
Democratic candidate for governor Joe Hoeffel unveils his arts and  culture platform at LOVE ParkDemocratic candidate for governor Joe Hoeffel unveils his arts and culture platform at LOVE Park
Hoeffel, of Montgomery County, says that, as governor, he would use arts and culture as an economic driver. With the LOVE Park fountain behind him, Hoeffel said he would focus existing state money reserved for economic development and community revitalization on creating arts districts in downtown areas, like Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts or Norristown’s new Arts Hill.

“It’s not just about the benefits of art – which are wonderful benefits,” said Hoeffel. “But it also means dollars, it means economic growth. Because people like the arts, they want to be around the arts; they will locate their businesses around the arts districts; they will take part more vigorously if there is a strong arts and culture community.”

Hoeffel said he would restore cuts made to state arts funding, returning it to $200 million or more. It’s currently at about $100 million.

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Polls show Hoeffel is a bit of a long shot in the Democratic primary.

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