Letters to the Editor

State investment in art draws enormous returns

If you are interested in something that costs each citizen of South Carolina 41 cents a year and produces a return of $500 million in tax revenues, read on.

A devastating action has taken place affecting the long-term state of our economy. The governor has vetoed the $1.9 million in funding for the S.C. Arts Commission, a minute part of the $6 billion state budget.

Even if you are not an arts supporter, but you do care about good business for our state and our economy, please read what I have to say: The arts are crucial to our state's economy and should not be ignored.

A recent editorial in The Herald in Rock Hill stated that "a study by USC's Moore School of Business estimated that creative industries, including for-profit companies, non-profits and self-employed artists, contribute more than $9.2 billion to the state's economy each year and support more than 78,000 jobs. The arts also generate more than $500 million in tax revenues for the state each year."

So to all our senators and representatives who have the power to override this veto:

This small investment in the arts produces amazing statewide returns for education, quality of life and our economy. Please don't sacrifice this valuable public asset when there is no practical reason to do so.

Louise "Weezie" Gibson


Editor's note: Louise Gibson is a member of the board of the S.C. Arts Alliance.