Fundamental to any democracy is ongoing dialogue about the role of government and the ways the public sector should best support the well-being of citizens and communities. Sometimes those questions turn to the public-sector role of the arts:
Why should government support the arts?
Are the arts a worthwhile investment during hard economic times?
Why can't the private sector pick up the costs?
Why are state arts agencies important?
Designed for public arts leaders and advocates, the new and expanded edition of Why Should Government Support the Arts? provides answers to these questions and describes why the arts are an essential public investment. This document invites conversation and reflection about the value of the arts to American communities. It also provides resource material and research citations that any state can use to support its case for the arts.
NASAA encourages broad use of this material. It is designed to be a menu from which you can excerpt, mix and match as needed. Keep it close at hand when you are drafting testimony, crafting presentations or preparing budget requests. A Microsoft Word version is available to make it easy to borrow from the text. Be sure to add your own examples that bring to life the many ways in which the arts benefit citizens and communities in your state.