N e w s  R e l e a s e
October 2, 2000



October is National Arts and Humanities Month!  For the seventh year, mayors and governors from across America join President Clinton in proclaiming October National Arts and Humanities Month, hailing the arts and humanities as vital to the well-being of our families, communities, and the nation as a whole.

Key West and the Florida Keys have unique artists and treasured cultural organizations. Our community has important patrons and supportive elected officials, local heroes for the arts and humanities. National Arts and Humanities Month can be a time to say thanks, to highlight the impact these residents make and the arts challenges ahead.

Most polls show that by a three-to-one margin, U.S. citizens are strongly supportive of the arts. A marked majority of Americans, in fact, would support arts programs to the point of paying more in taxes - findings directly contrary to claims that the country has shifted against such federal, state, and local arts programs.

Educators recognize the importance of arts education in developing the character, intelligence, judgment, and wisdom of the complete human being.  The arts play a key role in community economic development.  According to the findings in the Americans for the Arts study Arts in the Local Economy, the nonprofit arts generate more than $37 billion in business in American communities, resulting in $34 billion in personal income to local residents.  Nonprofit arts organizations, such as the Monroe Council of the Arts, support 1.3 million jobs in this country - more than police, firefighting, mining, or forestry.  Investing in the arts yields economic benefits in addition to enhancing the quality of life.

National Arts and Humanities Month is a special time to honor and learn more about cultural life in our community.