The Arts Mean Business!


America’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity annually — including $63.1 billion in spending by organizations and $103.1 billion by audiences.

Americans for the Arts

The arts play a vital role in not only our local communities but also in attracting visitors to our County.  This partnership [with ACMC] ensures that the artistic and cultural development of Mendocino County continues.  The arts are vital to tourism—and tax revenues from County Tourism are $6.7 million. This is approximately $556 of tax relief per household in the County.

  Scott Schneider, President & CEO, Visit Mendocino County, Inc.

The rapidly evolving global economy demands a dynamic and creative workforce. The arts and its related businesses are responsible for billions of dollars in cultural exports for this country. It is imperative that we continue to support the arts and arts education both on the national and local levels. The strength of every democracy is measured by its commitment to the arts.

–Charles Segars, CEO of Ovation

We need people who think with the creative side of their brains—people who have played in a band, who have painted…it enhances symbiotic thinking capabilities, not always thinking in the same paradigm, learning how to kick-start a new idea, or how to get a job done better, less expensively.

–Annette Byrd, GlaxoSmithKline

Arts education aids students in skills needed in the workplace: flexibility, the ability to solve problems and communicate, the ability to learn new skills, to be creative and innovative, and to strive for excellence.

– Joseph M. Calahan, Director of Cooperate Communications, Xerox Corporation

GE hires a lot of engineers. We want young people who can do more than add up a string of numbers and write a coherent sentence. They must be able to solve problems, communicate ideas and be sensitive to the world around them. Participation in the arts is one of the best ways to develop these abilities.

– Clifford V. Smith, President of the General Electric Foundation

I believe that creativity will be the currency of the 21st century.

– Gerald Gordon, Ph.D., President/CEO, Fairfax County (Virginia) Economic Development Authority.


Arts Education


To cut the arts from the schools is to say that we’re satisfied to focus on automated behavior for the majority of our children and to treat mediated behavior as a privileged skill, requiring special opportunity and access.

That is why access to arts education is a civil rights issue. It’s about freedom of thought, about giving every child the opportunity to thrive with the full measure of human capabilities. We need to train the whole brain. We need communities of richly mediated minds.

Our future as a thriving, productive society—and species—depends upon it.

It’s About Freedom of Thought: Why Arts Education is a Civil Rights Issue by Anthony Brandt

I believe arts education in music, theater, dance, and the visual arts is one of the most creative ways we have to find the gold that is buried just beneath the surface. They (children) have an enthusiasm for life a spark of creativity, and vivid imaginations that need training – training that prepares them to become confident young men and women.

– Richard W. Riley, Former US Secretary of Education

The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic…music, dance, painting, and theater are all keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment.

–William Bennett, Former US Secretary of Education

The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create.

–President Barack Obama


Cultural Heritage and the Arts as Essential to Society


The Arts and Sciences, essential to the prosperity of the State and to the ornament of human life, have a primary claim to the encouragement of every lover of his country and mankind.

–George Washington

I must study politics and war, that my sons may study mathematics and philosophy…in order to give their children the right to study painting, poetry, music and architecture.

–John Q. Adams

Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.

–Lyndon Johnson, on signing into existence the National Endowment on the Arts

Aeschylus and Plato are remembered today long after the triumphs of Imperial Athens are gone. Dante outlived the ambitions of thirteenth century Florence. Goethe stands serenely above the politics of Germany, and I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over cities, we too will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.

–John F. Kennedy


Innovation and the Arts


Logic will get you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere.

–Albert Einstein

Pyramids, cathedrals, and rockets exist not because of geometry, theories of structures, or thermodynamics, but because they were first a picture– literally a vision–in the minds of those who built them. Society is where it is today because people had the perception; the images and the imagination; the creativity that the Arts provide, to make the world the place we live in today.

–Eugene Ferguson, Historian

The innovative cities of the coming age will develop a creative union of technology, arts and civics.

–Sir Peter Hall, renowned geographer and authority on the economic, demographic, cultural and management issues facing cities


Humanity and Arts and Culture


If you have only two pennies, spend the first on bread and the other on hyacinths for your soul.

–Arab Proverb

Art is fundamental, unique to each of us…Even in difficult economic times – especially in difficult economic times – the arts are essential.

–Maria Shriver, California’s First Lady, Award-Winning Journalist and Author

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

– Albert Einstein


Music Education


Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education, because
rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.

– Plato

Whoever has skill in music is of good temperament and fitted for all things.
We must teach music in schools.

– Martin Luther

Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them – a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.

– Gerald Ford, Former President of the United States

Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation, and by studying music in schools, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives, and experience the world from a new perspective.

– Bill Clinton, Former President of the United States
Our schools tend to refine intellects but neglect to discipline emotions. For anyone to grow up complete, music is imperative.

– Paul Harvey, Broadcaster/Commentator
Music gives us a language that cuts across the disciplines, helps us to see connections and brings a more coherent meaning to our world.

– Ernest Boyer, President, Carnegie Foundation


Science and Arts


Man is unique not because he does science, and he is unique not because he does art, but because science and art equally are expressions of his marvelous plasticity of mind.

– Jacob Bronowski, scientist, formerly of the Salk Institute

I must study politics and war, that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy, natural history and naval architecture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, tapestry, and porcelain.

– John Adams


Arts and Culture Strengthen Communities


The arts not only enrich community, the arts are community. Perhaps better than all other symbols, the arts cut across separations; they give rise to many voices, making it possible for people who are racially, economically and ethnically divided to begin to understand one another on a more authentic level. The arts connect each new generation to those that have gone before. The arts are society’s gift to itself; linking hope to memory, inspiring courage and discipline, enriching our celebrations, making our tragedies bearable.

– Ernest Boyer

The arts are the best insurance policy a city can take on itself.

– Woody Dumas, former Mayor of Baton Rouge

Politicians don’t bring people together. Artists do.

– Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago


Art in Prisons


Art reduces recidivism

In prisons, art allows the incarcerated to express complex material that may not be available for communication in any other form, overcoming low educational level, illiteracy, and other obstacles to verbal communication and cognitive development.

Art provides diversion and emotional escape, and can diminish pathological symptoms without verbal interpretation. Expression through art promotes disclosure, but does not require that the inmate know, admit, or discuss the content; it bypasses unconscious and conscious defenses, including pervasive dishonesty.

In a 1994 study of inmates at a variety of security levels, 25% maintained symptoms of severe depression and another 30% showed depressive symptoms. Art has been used as a viable means of addressing depression and can instill a sense of self-worth and identity.

There is statistically significant support that art therapy may be effective in improving mood, behavior and socialization while increasing inmates’ internal locus of control.

Inmates who participated in a 2003 study in Florida demonstrated a significant decrease in depressive symptoms and improvement in mood. Participants’ attitudes and acceptance of each other and the environment also improved, and interaction improved with peers and staff.

Participants demonstrated greater compliance with directives and improved behavior.

Participation in prison art sessions elevated inmates’ mood, and anecdotal information from the correctional staff indicated that those who participated in the sessions interacted more appropriately with others in the general population. Participants significantly improved in mood more than non-participants during the same time period. 

A survey of Arts in Prison program “graduates” in Kansas showed an 18% recidivism rate three years after release, compared to 39% statewide.

Activities such as public choral concert and theater events with inmate performers help reconnect ex-offenders with their communities.

Engaging in the arts has a profoundly rehabilitative effect on men and women behind bars. Through creative expression in theater, dance, voice, writing and visual art, prisoners learn social and cognitive skills that act as a springboard to education, family reconciliation and ultimately, successful re-integration into community life.

Prison-art program staff observe profound personal transformations among art-program participants.  Improved social and communications skills, self-discipline and self-confidence lead to completion of GEDs, college and even master’s degrees.  Prisoner participants released into the community made more successful lives outside.

“Some of my family won’t visit me at the facility, but they always come to my concerts.” He had tears in his eyes. He said, “Nobody ever applauded for me before.”

Artist in the Spotlight

Event Spotlight

A Rare Intimate Evening Concert with Spencer Brewer and Friends

at Willits Center for the Arts

Dec 16 at 7pm