Rub your eyes: Arts are ‘worth $500 billion to US economy’

Rub your eyes: Arts are ‘worth $500 billion to US economy’


norman lebrecht

December 05, 2013

Don’t take our word for it. This is a joint report by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Read it here.

Don’t read it if you’re in Minnesota.

Opera followers read this.



  • David says:

    OK, I’ll bite. Why not read if you’re in Minnesota?

    • FullOstrich says:

      I suspect it’s because Minnesota is doing the arts walk of shame by locking out its orchestra and effectively ending it.

  • David H. says:

    I think these numbers are way too low. Arts is half of what our whole civilization is worth, past, present and future. The other half is science. Without Arts and science it all would be worth nothing, a multiplication with zero.

  • Brian says:

    The NEA has a *very* broad definition of what constitutes the arts. For them, it includes advertising, zoos, blockbuster movies, TV. Not that there can’t be some art amongst those categories but it still suggests that they’re trying to make a strong case for their own existence.

  • These are absolutely way too low. Especially considering the indirect cash flow on supposed “date nights.” It’s not just a movie or the ballet, it’s oftentimes “dinner and a movie” or “dinner and the ballet”. Or shop a bit downtown then see the opera.

    What’s more mind-numbing are that many people believe that the arts are the most expensive forms of entertainment. Tickets usually start around $10-15 for many of the top 15 orchestras. Ever pay that for decent seats at a football game?