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Ann Markusen, one of the presenters at Otis' 2011 Report on the Creative Economy event, commented on Minnesota Public Radio today about the economic impact of artists and designers. She is director of the Project on Regional and Industrial Economics at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affair. Among her comments are: Do we really believe that selective or across-the-board tax breaks for business will create and retain more jobs than maintaining and adding to our outstanding pool of human capital? Where's the evidence?
Her argument is that outsized cuts to education will threaten our greatest resource, the pipeline of human capital. As she states, Take arts program graduates, for example. New evidence from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) refutes the "starving artist" stereotype. Of 13,600 graduates from 154 U.S. public and private college arts programs, conservatories and arts high schools, 81 percent found jobs soon after graduation. Their current unemployment rates (6 percent) are substantially below the national average, and their job satisfaction levels are very high.
Read the SNAPP report (PDF).