Jobs, tax revenue, tourism, urban redevelopment, academic performance, community building, at-risk youth — the California Arts Council Web site makes the case that just about every practical benefit you can think of flows from the arts. Why, the arts even "sustain brain development," "promote healing" and help in "treating Alzheimer's." Maybe the arts also whiten and brighten teeth (expect the studies any day). But no matter how many practical arguments are mustered, they can always be trumped by competing needs for food, medicine, shelter and protection.
A great article about funding for the arts. It focuses on California, but the implications are the same everywhere. (I bolded my favorite line; it was just too funny not to emphasize. The story can be found at Arts Jounal in my links above.
Oh and check out my new icon, Mary Chapin Carpenter, a goddess with words.
Also, check out this story from Arts and Letters Daily.
How Fair are the Nobel Awards?