The Golden Age of Louisiana
Not since New Orleans spawned jazz in the early 1900s has Louisiana been such a cultural mecca. That's what a recent state-commissioned study on Louisiana's "cultural economy" suggests.
According to the study, the culture sector generates 144,000 jobs, representing 7.6% of the state's employment--that's more than the tourism industry's 126,000 jobs. Between 1998 and 2002, job growth in the culture sector (6.3%) has also outpaced overall growth (2.3%). Cultural jobs include those in culinary arts, design, entertainment, literary arts and humanities, preservation, and visual arts and crafts.
Gee, I wonder if Louisiana's generous film incentives had anything to do with all this.
The study also reported that the state must "do a better job of producing, distributing, marketing and supporting its culture to better realize an economic benefit from it" and "support its artists professionally and economically." The study further noted (quite aptly) that "Louisianians pride themselves on their culture. But among artists, there is a widespread belief that the affection falls short of respect, and too often fails to translate into meaningful economic remuneration." As a result, work for artists is scarce and low-waged, prompting them to give up art or leave Louisiana (brain drain).
>> La. finds 'cultural economy' flush [Times-Picayune, 8/25/05]
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