To Accelerate Our Economic Recovery, Look to the Arts

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The economic shockwave triggered by COVID-19 is not over. Despite recent employment gains, 9.8 million Americans remain out of work. Food and rent insecurity persist, and some — especially Black, Latino and Native American families — continue to experience disproportionate economic distress.

To rebound from an economic catastrophe of this magnitude, state and local governments have to be inventive and entrepreneurial. They need solutions attuned to communities large and small. They need options to nurture tiny microenterprises as well as big businesses. Policymakers have the chance to reseed the scorched earth left behind by COVID-19 by developing more diversified and resilient economies that offer everyone the opportunity to prosper. The arts can help.

New research shows that the arts can accelerate state and local economic turnarounds. A first-of-its-kind empirical analysis

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