BGSU center studies economic impact of arts

BOWLING GREEN, O.—The Center for Regional Development at Bowling Green State University has undertaken what is thought to be the first study of the economic impact of the arts and cultural organizations in this region. Results of the study will be made public on Tuesday (Oct. 2).

The research was commissioned by the Northwest Ohio Arts Exchange (NWoAX), a group of artists and arts educators, administrators, business leaders and others dedicated to fostering the growth and development of northwest Ohio's arts community. Founded at Bowling Green in 2003, the group meets annually for discussions of the state of the arts in the region. Those discussions identified the need to measure the impact of the arts economically.

Dr. Michael Carroll, an associate professor of economics at BGSU and director of the Center for Regional Development, said that many may be surprised by the size of the arts' role in northwest Ohio's economy. His research is focusing on the arts and cultural organizations in a 27-county area.

“This study is particularly relevant because there is a growing body of research that shows a thriving arts community is crucial to the health and vitality of a region,” he said.

Dr. Katerina Ruedi Ray, director of the BGSU School of Art, and a NWoAX Advisory Board member, said the arts are “big business and, as businesses, they make money for our economy. The study will show our region to have a strong creative economy—a creative hub in a creative state.”

NWoAX will release the study during a 6 p.m. event at the Valentine Theatre in downtown Toledo. The public is invited to attend.

In addition to Carroll, speakers will include special guest and Ohio First Lady Frances Strickland; Steve Weathers, president and CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership; Toledo Mayor Carleton Finkbeiner; Dr. James M. Smith, vice president for regional growth and economic development at BGSU; Ohio Arts Council board member Mary Wolfe of Perrysburg, and Richard Anderson, chairman and CEO of The Andersons.

BGSU President Sidney A. Ribeau will give remarks during a guest reception preceding the 6 p.m. event.

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Media Contact: Scott Borgelt, BGSU Marketing & Communications, phone 419-372-8582 or
419-372-2716.

 

(Posted September 26, 2007 )