Working with the Arts Stimulates Economy and Local Businesses

Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

By Joseph Meterchick , regional president for the Florida West region at PNC Bank

In Nepal, a teen bride wails as she leaves her family home. In Mexico, teenagers at the beach mingle and preen. Through the transformative power of art, we are transported to each poignant time and place — that’s why art matters.

The unspoken word and brilliance of art allow us to share private moments and experience emotions we might never have had the opportunity to feel or see first-hand. Through the arts — be it photography, painting, music, sculptures or the performing arts — we can be introduced to fresh ideas. Art enriches our quality of life, eliciting wonder in children and inspiring whole communities. 

It’s why projects such as the Women of Vision: On Assignment with National Geographic Photographers exhibit that highlights the influential photography of 11 award-winning female journalists at the Orlando Museum of Art, January 23 - April 25 are important.

The arts are an economic driver — creating jobs, boosting tourism and connecting with broader audiences to help sustain arts organizations and invigorate the business districts around them. By advancing corporate and cultural partnerships, we can help spur the economy and build up the arts community.

According to the Florida Department of State–Division of Cultural Affairs, the arts and culture industry also generates $22.3 billion in revenue to local, state and federal governments every year, a yield well beyond their collective $4 billion in arts allocations. Locally, Florida is home to 29,735 creative industries establishments, which generate $49.7 billion in annual revenue throughout the state.

From end to end, there is a common thread that recognizes and understands the challenges, risks and achievements routinely experienced by every one of us, whether we’re deciding when to expand a business or how to tell a compelling story with a camera. The Women of Vision exhibit at the Orlando Museum of Art not only complements Orlando’s already-vibrant arts community, it supports the cultural vitality of this region.

Today, Orlando has a vibrant local art scene, and businesses should have more of a common interest in learning how corporate and cultural partnerships could affect their business positively.

Our confidence in the power of engaging cultural programs to strengthen communities and our commitment to the arts is felt in every market we serve. So much so, thatPNC recently pledged a three-year commitment to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and the Orlando Science Center to provide critical resources needed to enhance access to programs in the arts and sciences for hundreds of pre-K students, their families and early childhood educators. We also actively support the Orlando Philharmonic and the Orlando Ballet among many others.

We will continue to work closely with the arts community, watching visitors be transported to corners of the globe and stand witness to the glories of nature and cultures. I encourage companies large and small to do the same. Together, give us all a chance to learn more about each other and the world we share.

Image credit: Diane Cook and Len Jenshel, Green Roofs, 2009

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