The Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley is Southwest Virginia’s sponsor of the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, a program of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are a powerful tool for building a sense of community, advocating for arts education, and fostering the creativity of emerging local talent. Through the regional program of the Awards, students are encouraged to express themselves through the arts and are rewarded for their creativity. A successful regional program is able to bring the high quality, creative works of secondary school students to a wide audience; to provide teachers and students with the opportunity to see the achievements of students from schools throughout the region; and to highlight the importance of arts education within the community.
As Southwest Virginia’s sponsor of the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the FAC NRV serves students from Pulaski, Bland, Botetourt, Carroll, Craig, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Montgomery, Patrick, Smyth, Wythe, and Roanoke counties, and the cities of Roanoke, Salem, Radford, Martinsville, Bristol, and the Salem Art Center. Tazewell and Washington counties have recently asked to participate, and the FAC NRV hopes to be able to accommodate their needs.
Sometimes locality leaders overlook the importance of the arts to our economic success. Here are some numbers for you to consider. According to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 conducted in 2015. Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion of economic activity during 2015—$63.8 billion in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $102.5 billion in event-related expenditures by their audiences. This activity supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments (a yield well beyond their collective $5 billion in arts allocations).
From that same study, we know that each ticket purchased to say a play, a show, or a special exhibit at a museum generates an additional $31.47 for the local economy. That figure consists of that lunch you might have with your family before a show. Or the gas purchased to drive to an event.