Recession hits the US artist

March 27th, 2009 - 2:00 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

The artists too are facing the economic hard time and the telling Congress that layoffs and art organisation closures are hurting communities across the US.

Representatives of the arts industries told the House Education and Labour Committee hearing on Thursday that the repercussions of the recession go well beyond musicians having to put down their guitars and get ‘real’ jobs.

The non-profit art and cultural industry alone supports 5.7 million jobs and generates US$166 billion in economic activity every year, they said.

Robert Lynch of Americans for the Arts said his group estimates that one-tenth of all those organisations, 10,000 groups, are at risk of closing down this year, with a loss of 260,000 jobs.

He said ticket sales, which make up 50 per cent of income for non-profit groups, and donations, which comprise another 40 per cent, are down as the economy shrinks.

‘The arts in America are at risk.’

Actor Tim Daly, co-president of The Creative Coalition, said it was his mission ‘to make America understand that the arts are part of our cultural and economic main course, they are not dessert.

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