The arguments about the financial value of the arts is a well rehearsed one.However I'm not sure how many legs this argument has as every other sector is more or less making these arguments about their sectors. We've made these arguments from Rene ShortMP's working party on the arts and the TUC complementary working party in the early seventies through............. the Cultural Industries concept developed whilst I was with the GLC in the eighties and ACGB ..... the regional arts associations and through to the RDA's in the noughties and in the "its the economy stupid" of Clinton in 92/3. Of course it still has to be argued by us . But one area I haven't heard discussed much in the UK in terms of the economy of the arts is its effect on creativity in the rest of the economy. I don't know how aware people in the UK are of Prof Richard Florida's work on Creative Cities. Briefly he argues that for example Silicon Valley basically derived its creativity because of the open arts creativity and liberal policies (music,writing,painting,poetry,sexuality etc) of San Francisco in the fifties and sixties. I won't develop this but I've talked about this to Edinburgh, Manchester and recently Belfast (and Penrith).
Briefly tho herewith extract:
"Prof. Florida's theory asserts that metropolitan regions with high concentrations of high-tech workers, artists, musicians, lesbians and gay men, and a group he describes as "high bohemians", correlate with a higher level of economic development. Florida posits the theory that the creative class fosters an open, dynamic, personal and professional environment. This environment, in turn, attracts more creative people, as well as businesses and capital. He suggests that attracting and retaining high-quality talent, versus a singular focus on infrastructure projects such as sports stadiums, iconic buildings, and shopping centers, would be a better primary use of a city's regeneration resources for long-term prosperity."