By Lisa Steckler, longtime Mill Creek resident.
- Are they important to you?
- Do you think they are important to a community?
All community members are invited to join us at the June 25, 2019, Mill Creek City Council meeting at 6:00 pm to hear ArtsFund Vice President Sarah Sidman share pivotal research from their recent Social Impact of the Arts Study.
The Social Impact Study explains in deep detail the direct impact art makes on communities, focusing on three primary areas: youth development and education, health and wellness, and neighborhood vitality.
Each of these areas, the study maintains, is a critical component in building and maintaining strong communities.
ArtsFund President and Board Chair Statement
For nearly 50 years, ArtsFund has been raising funds to strengthen the community by supporting the arts.
Thanks to the generosity of the businesses, foundations, and individuals who invest in ArtsFund, we provide leadership, advocacy, and financial support to nearly 120 nonprofit arts organizations throughout the Central Puget Sound Region.
We have awarded over $81.6 million in grants since 1969, trained nearly 750 board members, and advanced legislative initiatives. We are the only nonprofit in our region that supports the sector in this holistic way.
We do this work because we believe that a thriving arts sector and equitable access to the arts are critical to a healthy, vibrant, and inclusive region.
For decades, we have produced Economic Impact studies that demonstrate how the arts support tens of thousands of jobs and generate $2 billion in business revenue for our region.
This year, we released the first Social Impact of the Arts study for King County. This study is among the first in the nation, and the first in the Pacific Northwest, to illustrate how arts create public value that positively transforms and benefits our communities.
Our study shows that the arts are a viable, powerful, and proven tool to affect positive social outcomes—yet, too often, the arts are underutilized and unacknowledged as part of community development strategy.
The complex challenges facing our region require creative and cross-sector solutions. Expanding and leveraging the impact of King County’s substantial arts and culture sector so more people and communities can benefit will enhance, not detract, from our ability to meet the most pressing challenges facing our region. Join us in strengthening the community through the arts.
The ArtsFund Social Impact Study explores how the arts advance community priorities in King County.
The ArtsFund Social Impact of the Arts Study frames a new way of understanding the public value of the arts in King County. How are arts advancing community priorities and positive outcomes for participants and non-participants alike?
There is growing interest in the community-level benefits of art, especially with respect to mental health awareness. Many communities use public art and cultural assets.
The presence of arts is linked to increased neighborhood livability, community cohesion, and social wellbeing.
Research ties the benefits of arts and cultural participation to the informal education and empowerment of the community, and to a sense of pride and shared sense of belonging. In neighborhoods with limited economic resources, engagement with arts and culture can create social capital that exerts a strong, positive effect on wellbeing.
Arts also play an important role in fostering social connection and inclusion. Arts participants are more than twice as likely to volunteer in their communities, independent of education, age, gender, or ethnicity.
Clearly ArtsFund has played a major role in the health of our cities. Before we can even have the social impact conversation, there have to be organizations to have that conversation.