President of Asset Management Solutions, headquartered in Torrance, California
The arts rarely are mentioned in the context of political or economic coverage, unless it is the opening of a glitzy new venue or a kerfuffle over a Mapplethorpe exhibit or some other over the top cultural expression. Public arts funding has been squeezed hard by the fiscal crises at every level of government. Nonetheless, funding of the arts and fostering new creative visions need to be on the agenda of both public and private sector institutions. Nowhere is that truer than in California.
The Golden State’s creative spark, along with great weather, have made our state a pacesetter–both economically and culturally. The respected Otis College Report on the Creative Economy attributes one in eight jobs in the Los Angeles region to creative endeavors from entertainment to fashion, toys and interior design. That adds up to more than $230 billion in economic activity in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. The arts are, of course, about a lot more than money. The arts open up our minds and souls.