It’s not often enough that reading the news can put a smile on your face. But, when I saw the results of a new study, it was easy for me to smile.

ArtServe Michigan recently released a study that detailed the return on investment for arts and culture in the state. The report shows that for every dollar the state invests in arts and culture, 51 dollars are contributed to the state’s economy. The facts show what we have long believed – an investment in the arts provides more than just cultural value, which alone is important in its own right.

Experts, including those at ArtServe, have long believed that arts education increases children’s motivation to learn, making them more likely to attend school, and deepens their ability to pay attention. The College Board reports that, over a ten-year period, arts students outperformed non-arts students on the SAT.

The Foundation’s support of successful arts education programs in Detroit touch every age level of students. The PNC Grow Up Great pre-kindergarten program partners with Music Hall to bring artists into classrooms and preschool students into the theater. We have funded and sustained the Evening of Fine Arts to honor the top high school students in vocal, instrumental, dance, fine and visual arts. Plus, the Foundation is funding the Detroit All-City Marching Band and has funded the upgrade of musical equipment at several schools.

We hope others will join us in placing a priority on arts education so our future adults will be well equipped to lead and give back to the community. As a board member of the DIA, DSO, Cultural Alliance of Southeastern Michigan and Arts League of Michigan I am hopeful that we are creating an environment which nurtures future leaders for these and other cultural organizations throughout our region and State. We know this investment has even more than just cultural value, there’s also economic value.

You can find details on the ArtServe study here