When we think of the entertainment industry, most of us think of red carpets and A-list movie stars. But for many in our districts and across the country, entertainment is a livelihood. And often, a difficult one.
Consider the actors and stage managers who work in live-professional theatre across America. Even while working, theatre professionals constantly travel to auditions for new roles to sustain employment. And once they find work, they are on the hook for another set of expenses, with agents’ and managers’ fees topping the list. In any given year, working class professional artists can spend between 20 and 30 percent of their gross income just to stay in the business.
A 2015 analysis from the Bureau of Economic Analysis states that the production of arts and cultural goods added $764 billion to our economyand amounted to a $21 billion trade surplus. And, according to Americans for the Arts, attendees at nonprofit performing arts events spend more than $31 a person per event on additional expenses like parking, babysitting, and meals. This halo effect creates and retains countless jobs in theatre districts, entertainment venues and communities across America. READ MORE