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Art can reinforce the story and meaning of a place.[Mill Creek Waterfall]
The arts contribute to quality of life by making communities more livable. They help to define a sense of identity, a sense of place, and they serve as a vehicle for the preservation and transmission of culture. The arts help to form an educated and aware public by promoting understanding in a diverse society and by promoting inquisitive thought and the open exchange of ideas and values. The arts can encourage an individual’s creativity and the generation of new ideas. They play a vital role in the development of desirable products and increasing available choices, whether it is types of housing or leisure activities. Release, relaxation, entertainment and spiritual uplifting are all benefits of the arts.

Creating Distinctive Places: Arts and culture are keys to making the Cleveland area an interesting and attractive place to live, work, and recreate. They are a key component for attracting creative and entrepreneurial individuals from across the region and the nation. Arts and culture provide important insights that affect the details of design and result in great architecture, landscapes and public improvements. In addition to shaping the physical form of a place, arts and culture play an important role in creating a social connection between people and the place through interpretation of its natural features, history, and meanings and the telling of its stories.

The Arts as an Economic Engine: A healthy and stable arts and cultural sector is a cornerstone for the region’s continued economic and social vitality. The arts contribute more than $1.3 billion annually to the regional economy and arts and cultural institutions have brought Cleveland national and worldwide recognition. It is estimated that 25 percent of visitors to Northeast Ohio arts and cultural assets come from outside the seven-county region. The Cleveland Orchestra is world renowned, and Playhouse Square boasts the largest concentration of theatres between New York and Chicago. Historically, artists have been heavily integrated into the business fabric of the community: Companies specializing in lithography, engraving, publishing, ceramics, furniture, textiles, etc., have all employed artists in the development of their products. Today the Cleveland Institute of Art educates students for jobs in fields such as industrial design, graphic design, science and biomedical communications and digital art.

Creative Thought and Innovation: Data from the College Entrance Examination Board show that students who take four years or more of arts and music classes in high school score 90 to 100 points better on their SAT than students who took only one-half year or less. The ability to think critically, creatively, and innovatively are all benefits of exposure to the arts. These skills will become more important for securing a prosperous economic future as more jobs for unskilled and low-skilled labor are relocated outside of the United States.

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