Fast on the heels of the deafening response to my Reinvention Goals post, I found this gem from The Economist that set my poor excuse for a heart (I know, some of you believe economists have no hearts) beating a little faster. In an article entitled “Painting by Numbers,” the author asserts:
IN A recession the arts may seem a luxury. But they have proved a valuable way to rejuvenate industrial districts and boost communities that once relied on manufacturing. Studies show that in a labour market that prizes well-educated workers, the best way to lure them is often by attracting creative people first.
The article goes on to say that artists are a key driver of economic success. “Though they make up only 1.4% (2.1m) of America’s total labour market, they are highly entrepreneurial and twice as likely to have college degrees.” The kicker: “In general, artists’ median earnings are higher than those of the rest of the labour force: $43,000 compared with $39,000 in 2009.”
It sounds to me like HWC ought to look hard at promoting our Art & Architecture department as an important enabler of one of Reinvention’s goals. Fear not credentials of economic value, you defenders of the liberal arts. The truth lies within ourselves.