Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Deuces: Florida is Number Two in the Rankings.

First, the good news. The Dade, Broward & Palm Beach area is number six (6th) in arts and entertainment jobs, according to the US Census. Source: [Link]. This was from 2009 data, indicating nearly 40,000 workers, and they averaged $ 34,500 in salaries. Within the state, Orlando ranked #1, with over 40,000 workers. Tampa came in at almost 20,000. Jacksonville came in at less than half that.
NYC was #1 with 153,000 working in arts and entertainment, and Chicago at 65,000.

ArtBistro [Link] has published ranking of the states by arts funding cuts per capita between 2009 & 2010. 37 states experienced funding cuts, the highest, at the bottom, is Michigan, at a staggering -81%. Florida came in second, in terms of arts funding cuts, at -65%.

We also came in second in terms of funding per capita. Michigan still spends .22 (cents) per cap/yr on the arts, but Florida spends .15 (fifteen cents) on each of its citizens per year. That is a total of $2.5 million, compared, to the amount the legislature found for the controversial pet project of J.D. Alexander, Florida Polytechnic, which will cost $46.3 million by opening day.

Think about it: States like Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and all the other Southern states are way ahead of us. Compared to other states, the arts are an afterthought to our legislature.

The children of Florida and all its citizens deserve better in terms of cultural opportunities and education outcomes. When corporations consider moving to Florida, they often cite a dearth of arts education as a negative. We can do better than this.

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