News / Arts & Entertainment

    Money Invested in Arts Shows a Return

    The arts can be a great driver of economic development

    Multimedia

    Susan Logue

    Even in a recession, communities across the United States are discovering that money invested in the arts can provide a return.  

    That's the case in Rosslyn, Virginia, just a few miles from the nation's capital. Live music draws at least a few people out of their air-conditioned offices on an exceptionally hot day.

    The free lunchtime concerts are funded by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID). Its  members are property owners that rent out space in the high-rise office buildings here. 

    “It is really important to tenants coming into a commercial office area to have amenities that their workers are going to gravitate to,” says Cecilia Cassidy, executive director of BID.

    Artisphere, another amenity for workers in Rosslyn, opened last October. The BID provided $1.2 million to transform what was once the Newseum into an art space that has a little bit of everything.

    Artisphere, in Rosslyn, Virginia, offers art displays and workshops where participants create their own art.
    Artisphere, in Rosslyn, Virginia, offers art displays and workshops where participants create their own art.

    “We have the visual arts, performing arts, spoken word, dance," says Jose Ortiz, executive director of Artisphere. "The audience varies because we have such a great range of programming.”

    And art in unexpected places. Some works invite people to do more than just look. There are also workshops where participants create their own art. Many of the offerings are free.

    Putting money into Artisphere was a good investment for Rosslyn property owners, and not only to satisfy workers, according to Jason Schupbach of the National Endowment for the Arts.

    “Companies want to go where the people are and the arts are something that tie people to place," says Schupbach. "They actually have been shown to be great economic development drivers.”

    Hyattsville, Maryland is banking on that. The Washington suburb was blighted for years, but it's beginning to show signs of life, especially in the area known as the Arts District.

    Artist Carl Tucker at work in an apartment specifically tailored for artists in Hyattsville, Maryland.
    Artist Carl Tucker at work in an apartment specifically tailored for artists in Hyattsville, Maryland.

    What was once about 50 hectares of empty parking lot is now being developed, despite the economic downturn. New townhouses and retail spaces are being built along with apartments designed for artists.

    "They have space for musicians and they have space for people who want to draw and paint downstairs, dancers who do performing arts," says Carl Tucker, a Hyattsville resident who is an artist.

    “It was pretty barren before this particular building and other condos in the area were built," says Candis Jones, a recent drama graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts in New York. "I am sure with time there will be more amenities and theater spaces hopefully."

    A  performing arts space is already in the works.  The oldest building in Hyattsville is being transformed into a theater. Seven dollars of new investment comes from every dollar publicly invested in the arts, according to Stuart Eisenberg, executive director of the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit dedicated to the city's revival. But there's an even greater benefit.

    “Not only does it do good for the economy and get pretty, shiny new buildings, but in the long run it transforms peoples’ reality," says Eisenberg. "And that is how you develop a community from stagnant or blighted into something that is an example and a leader for investment.”

    And, as the community attracts more development, Eisenberg says there will always be affordable housing for artists because they are the heart of the community.

    You May Like

    No More Space Race for US, Rivalry Gives Way to Collaboration

    What began as a struggle for dominance in space between two world powers has changed entirely to one of joint efforts

    Beijing Warns Critics Over South China Sea Dispute

    Official warns critics that the more they challenge China's position regarding disputed territories in one of world’s busiest waterways, the more it will push back

    Move Over Millennials, Here Comes iGeneration

    How the first generation to be born, almost literally, with a smartphone in hand, might change America

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    British Government to Resettle Unaccompanied Child Refugeesi
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    May 06, 2016 9:24 PM
    After criticism from lawmakers across the political spectrum, the British government has signaled that it will accept thousands of unaccompanied Syrian child refugees who have fled to Europe. It follows a campaign by a group of former Jewish refugees who were given refuge in Britain from Nazi persecution in the 1930s. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video British Government to Resettle Unaccompanied Child Refugees

    After criticism from lawmakers across the political spectrum, the British government has signaled that it will accept thousands of unaccompanied Syrian child refugees who have fled to Europe. It follows a campaign by a group of former Jewish refugees who were given refuge in Britain from Nazi persecution in the 1930s. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Strangers Share Secrets Through Postcards

    Frank Warren owns a million secrets. Strangers from around the world send him postcards with their confessions, their disappointments, and their hopes for the future, all anonymously. He displays his favorites online and in exhibits, and shares them with audiences in sold-out appearances around the globe. As VOA's Julie Taboh reports, what started as a simple social experiment has evolved into a multi-faceted and hugely successful global phenomenon.
    Video

    Video Largest Ground-based Telescope Under Construction

    While NASA's engineers are nearing the final phase of assembling the new James Webb space telescope, scheduled to be deployed in 2018, an international consortium led by the U.S. is laying foundations and building parts for a ground-based telescope, much larger than any other. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020

    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Child Labor in Afghanistan Remains a Problem

    With war still raging in Afghanistan, the country also faces the problem of child labor as families put their school-age children to work to help make ends meet. But, thanks to VOA's Afghan Service, two families whose children had been working in a brick-making factory - to earn their livings and pay off family debts - now have a new lease on life. Zabihullah Ghazi reports.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Border Crossings: Bannersi
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 04, 2016 1:07 PM
    Singer and Songwriter, Michael Nelson better known as "Banners" sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London in Studio 4 to talk and perform songs from his debut self titled EP.

    Singer and Songwriter, Michael Nelson better known as "Banners" sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London in Studio 4 to talk and perform songs from his debut self titled EP.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs

    African Music Treasures