See Artists ARE good for the economy.

I got this from http://www.artsusa.org/:

The Creative Industries in Rhode Island

This Creative Industries report offers a research-based approach to understanding the scope and economic importance of the arts in Rhode Island. The creative industries are composed of arts-centric businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theaters to for-profit film, architecture, and advertising companies. The creative industries are the high-octane fuel that drives the “information economy”—the fastest growing segment of the nation’s economy.

Nationally, there are 548,000 businesses in the U.S. involved in the creation or distribution of the arts that employ 2.9 million people—4.3 percent of all businesses and 2.2 percent of all employees. The creative industries have remained strong in comparison to business trends nationally. Between 2004 and 2006, a time when total number of U.S. businesses dropped 0.2 percent, arts businesses decreased just 0.12 percent. Similarly, while employment nationally fell 5.6 percent during the same time period, arts employment dipped just 3.7 percent. The source for these data is Dun & Bradstreet, the most comprehensive and trusted source for business information in the U.S.

As of January 2006, Rhode Island is home to 2,172 arts-related businesses that employ 13,219 people. These arts-centric businesses play an important role in building and sustaining economic vibrancy. They employ people, spend money locally, generate government revenue, and are a cornerstone of tourism and economic development.The map below provides a clear picture of the creative industries in Rhode Island, with each dot representing an arts-centric business.

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