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Investing in the arts makes sense
by Sara Lawson


September 23, 2004

In spite of the challenges that Ketchikan has faced in recent years a downturn in the local economy and a fear for Ketchikan s future the arts are booming. Audiences are bigger (16,000 tickets sold in 2003-4, compared to 12,000 in 2002-3); arts offerings have expanded; memberships, participation, and donations have increased; new galleries and arts businesses have opened, and we are attracting increased funding from outside of the community.

Ketchikan is known as one of America s 100 Best Small Art Towns , and First City Players is, for our population size, the second most active community theatre in the country. Those are notable accomplishments! In 2003-4, the partners in the Ketchikan Community Center for the Arts provided 130,000 user hours of arts programming to the community of Ketchikan, including 55,000 user hours of youth programs. (A user hour is time that an individual is actively participating in a program this doesn t include independent pursuits.) You can t go far before you run into someone who cares about the arts actor, audience member, painter, dancer, writer, student, gallery owner, professional artist.

And while some might think that the arts are a nice extra if you can afford it, the arts actually create jobs. According to a 2001 survey conducted in Ketchikan by Americans for the Arts, the non-profit arts in Ketchikan represent a $1.64 million industry, supporting 48 FTE jobs. The arts are part of what make Ketchikan such a great place to live, contributing greatly to the quality of life of thousands of children and adults, attracting visitors, and playing an important role in the recruiting efforts of many employers in town. And, over the past 6 years, strong local support for the arts, from both individuals and civic bodies, has helped us attract over $698,000 from outside of Ketchikan.

The Arts Council, First City Players, and Ketchikan Theatre Ballet are proud of what we ve accomplished with the tremendous support and investment of this community, and we are committed to building on that very solid foundation. The arts community is one of Ketchikan s greatest strengths, and has proven itself worthy of investment.


Sara Lawson
Executive Director
Ketchikan Area Arts & Humanities Council
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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