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News Release: 8/14/2017

August 14, 2017

Arts Alive! brings Americans for the Arts on a speaking tour across the the Monadnock Region

Events during Randy Cohen’s speaking tour will address the role of arts in community and economic development

Arts Alive!, a nonprofit that supports and advocates for the creative sector in the Monadnock region, will host Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research and Policy from Americans for the Arts on a speaking tour of the region September 5-7, 2017.
“A wide range of partners have stepped forward to be a part of this series,” says Arts Alive! Executive director Jessica Gelter, “It’s because they recognize that the creative industries in the Monadnock region are a force to be reckoned with. We’re seeing trends across the country of towns supporting and celebrating their cultural assets in new ways that lead to more valuable outcomes for their communities.”
Five events are planned over the course of the tour to attract different audiences. Each event will educate attendees about the economic place arts & culture hold in the Monadnock region and will teach participants how to leverage this information for community & economic development.
The first event is a reception on Tuesday 9/5 at 6pm at LaBelle Winery in Amherst hosted in partnership with NH Business Committee for the Arts and the Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce. Additional speakers at the event will include Jeff Rose and Taylor Caswell, the new state commissioners of Natural and Cultural Resources and Business and Economic Affairs, respectively. Other partners of this event include NH Citizens for the Arts and NH Creative Communities Network.
There will be a reception and Idea Jam the following evening in Keene at the Hannah Grimes Center to discuss and pitch ideas about how a strong arts community contributes to livability and quality of life in the region - including its impact on workforce recruitment. This will be in partnership with Antioch University Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurs and the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce.
Three other events will be working sessions focused on leveraging the creative assets and economic impact data to enhance our communities and economies. One, in partnership with Monadnock Buy Local, the Peterborough Chamber, the NH Division of Travel & Tourism Development, and the Moandnock Travel Council will focus on capturing the spending power arts & culture audiences in downtowns and local businesses. This will beat the Sharon Arts Gallery in Peterborough on September 6 at 9am.  Another working session will be for planners and community development professionals and will focus on highlighting communities around New Hampshire that have found success in utilizing arts & culture to build community or local economy. This will be at the Jaffrey Civic Center at 12:30pm on September 6 and will be hosted in partnership with the NH Planners Association, Monadnock Economic Development Corporation, and the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce. The final event on September 7 at Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music will be Arts Alive! annual Arts Leadership Summit, where regional arts & culture leaders will learn how to utilize the data to craft their stories for fundraising, marketing, and partnership building.
More information can be found and registration for event completed online at www.monadnockartsalive.org/randy-cohen
The Recent Arts & Economic Prosperity Study in the Monadnock Region
The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $18.5 Million in annual economic activity in the Monadnock Region —supporting 659 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $1.9 Million in local and state government revenues, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 national economic impact study. The most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.
The Monadnock region of Southwest New Hampshire mobilized about one quarter of its arts and culture organizations (36 out of 144), 910 audience members, and dozens of volunteers to participate in collecting surveys and sharing data. The study would not have been possible without the community support of the participants and our sponsors, including The Putnam Foundation, Eversource, and C&S Wholesale Grocers.
The full study and a 1-page summary are available on the Arts Alive! website at www.monadnockartsalive.org/aep5
“This study gives us  insight into one of the many reasons art is vital to our community,” says Jessica Gelter, Executive Director of Arts Alive! “Master plans for towns across the region see arts as vital to economy and quality of life and seek to utilize arts and culture to develop their communities - large and small. We can see this with the enormous boom in construction of arts & culture infrastructure - from libraries to makerspaces to performing arts and community centers.”
Additional data from the former NH Department of Resources and Economic Development showed that creative industries in the Monadnock region are strong - making up 5% of businesses and employing 4.5% of the workforce - just over 2,000 jobs with an average wage of $19 per hour.
Arts Industry Boon for Local Businesses
In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit arts and culture industry leverages about $5.3 Million in event-related spending by its audiences.
“Just like with other locally owned businesses, each dollar spent and invested in local artists and cultural organizations gives an extra boost to our local economy.  One dollar recirculates through our economy and generates a ripple effect — joining with other dollars to create new jobs, charitable contributions and community prosperity," said Jen Risley of Monadnock Buy Local.
At the Southwest Regional Planning Commission’s annual meeting, keynote speaker Taylor Caswell, Executive Director of New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (NH CDFA) lauded the study as evidence of our region’s growing asset - arts & culture. “As national trends of online retail boom, we are going to need to figure out how our downtowns can be vibrant and successful,” he said. “ The Creative Economy - arts, performance venues, makerspaces and more - will be key to drawing locals and tourists into the small towns across the region. Arts are fast becoming not only an economic driver, but a key to quality of life in NH’s smaller towns.”
The event around Americans for the Arts visit are made possible by support from: C&S Wholesale Grocers, Eversource, the Putnam Foundation, NH Charitable Foundation, and the NH State Council on the Arts. Additional support comes from: Colony House, Adventure Limousine, LaBelle Winery, Sunflowers Restaurant and Fine Catering, Monadnock Economic Development Corporation, NH Planners Association, Sharon Arts Gallery, The Inn at East Hill Farm, Artists presenting their works at these events, the AEP 5 advisory committee, our generous hosts and facilitators, and our partners listed below each event on our website.
About Arts Alive!
Arts Alive! is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization working to advance the Arts & Culture sector in the Monadnock region - from independent artists to cultural institutions. Arts and culture are community assets that enhance financial strength, health and wellness, and social capital in the communities where they are supported. Arts Alive!’s participation in this study was supported by C & S Wholesale Grocers, Eversource, The Putnam Foundation, and community gifts, volunteers, and the participation of 36 arts & culture organizations that made it all possible. Images available at: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7IgBowXhU6UNlBTYm1zZmFPV0U
About Randy Cohen
Randy Cohen is Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts.  He recently published Americans Speak Out About the Arts, one of the largest national public opinion studies about the arts ever conducted, and publishes the two premier economic studies of the arts industries—Arts & Economic Prosperity, the national impact study of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences; and Creative Industries, a mapping study of the nation’s 703,000 arts establishments and their employees.  Randy developed the National Arts Policy Roundtable, an annual convening of leaders who focus on the advancement of American culture, in partnership with Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute. His 10 Reasons to Support the Arts blog recently received the Gold Award from the Association of Media & Publishing—their top honor for best blog post of the year. Randy has given speeches in 49 states and regularly appears in the news media—including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on C-SPAN, CNN, CNBC, and NPR.

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