Governors are increasingly incorporating arts and cultural exchanges into their economic development approaches. Many states have invested in the arts as a strategy to attract the "creative class" and reverse “brain drain.”

Arts programs have been high-impact components of economic development programs by:

  • Leveraging human capital and cultural resources through tourism, crafts, and cultural attractions;
  • Serving as a centerpiece for downtown redevelopment and cultural renewal;
  • Creating vibrant public spaces, enhancing urban quality of life, expanding the tax base, and improving regional and community image; and
  • Contributing to a region's "innovation habitat" by making communities more attractive to highly desirable, knowledge-based employees.

Governors can position their states to use the arts effectively by promoting new partnerships among state agencies, communities, and the business sector and by harnessing the power of the arts and culture as tools that unite communities, create economic opportunity, and improve the quality of life.