“You Gotta Have Art”

By: Judy Bruce

Last week, we discussed how art can enhance communities, and this week, I would like to explore how the arts enhance local businesses. The Cave Creek Council just voted to give the Sonoran Arts League $5,000 toward the Hidden in the Hills Directory as they wisely want to encourage the League as it is an economic engine for the town. Several years ago, the Cave Creek Film and Arts Festival certainly brought businesses and the arts together in ways that enhanced both! I will never forget Harold’s hosting the glorious Galas packed to the brim with artists and their families. What a fabulous celebration for the community.

We cannot measure factors such as empathy and delight, but a group called Art and Economic Prosperity found that the arts in this country generate roughly 135 billion dollars and 5 million jobs. We know that the Sonoran Arts League’s Hidden in the Hills can generate thousands of local dollars for restaurants, shops, and bars.

According to research by the Arts Council, investing in art attracts new populations and businesses to local areas. The arts industry is also known to boost tourism and the hospitality industry. People visit from out of town to attend Hidden in the Hills, and they also visit local shops, restaurants, and bars. Many stay for both weekends. Folks traveling in for classes at the League Studio often go for lunch and stay for dinner locally. I frequently hear people planning dinner and drinks after art openings at the League Gallery, Desert Foothills Gallery, and the local galleries. Artists, including myself, move into the area because of the strong arts community.

The Sonoran Arts League is so thankful for the Town of Cave Creek and many other local businesses have joined us in promoting the arts. Let us remember “You Gotta Have Art” as it does truly enhance local businesses.