Friday, September 21, 2012

The impact of the arts in Rhode Island

Bert Crenca, founder of AS220. Journal photo by Bob Thayer.

Coming Sunday as part of The Providence Journal's year-long Reinvent Rhode Island series, my look at the extraordinary breadth and depth of the non-profits arts scene in Rhode Island -- and the economic engine they are in this geographically small state. We're talking painting, sculpting, dance, theater, film, museums, galleries and much more.

How much of an engine? Just the city of Providence alone generated $190 million in arts spending in the year 2010, according to the group Americans for the Arts. Compare that to the entire state of Nebraska, with a population ten times that of Providence -- only $115 million was spent. In the greater Memphis, Tenn. area -- pop. 920,232 -- $125 million was spent.

AS220, the internationally recognized arts organization, has been a major force in establishing the arts as not just a creative but economic asset to the Providence and Rhode Island community.

Take a poll and read a preview on The Journal's Friday blog. And come back Sunday for the whole package.

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