New Study Says Arts and Culture Is a Rich Business Market

The new report supports recent conclusions about the future of the Shakespeare Theatre.

A new study on the economics of arts in Fairfield County has been released, supporting for to tap.

The Connecticut Post reported today on a study released by the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County that says cultural arts are a big business nationally and here in Connecticut.

The study says that the arts and culture industry generated over $135 billion in 2011, not just for ticket sales, but also for everything from souvenirs and meals to parking and baby-sitting.

In April, Willem Brans of the Arts Consulting Group told the Stratford Town Council that the Shakespeare Theatre could potentially take in $2 million a year in revenues by tying into the demand for the arts and tourism in the area.

George E. Mulligan June 14, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Everything has long been timetabled. Infrastructure is in place or nearing completion. Rules & resources have been changed.
RMK June 14, 2012 at 09:06 PM
You don't need a study to figure this out - just go to any community with theater, artists and galleries and you'll see a vibrant destination. Want to insulate the town from outsiders? Fill storefronts with nail salons and crusty donuts. Stratford has long been unable to get out of its own way. Two years ago, you found a figurehead who was willing to work with the town and volunteers to bring the theater back from the moldering pile its been allowed to become, and instead of embracing the opportunity for success, the town splits in half. It takes a concerted effort of the community to help this town thrive, but all we hear is what won't work. It's time to stop betting on failure, folks.
Know what's going on June 15, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Want to hear Stratford say NO (as it always does); say Shakespeare Theater. Why raise money for an ignored edifice and ignored potential? Why get the business community together and create a not-for-profit corporation and begin to build a Stratford that attracts people, visitors, businesses who would thrive on visitors coming into Stratford because we might have an attraction? You know what Stratford says (and has always said): NO! Why be visionary? Why be welcoming? Why have a name for our community that's known by the entire country? Stratford says NO! We should all bow our heads in shame for how we've treated (and continue to treat) that economic development treasure. Let's do nothing, as we've always done, as Mayor Harkins has always done and watch more businesses leave and watch our taxes skyrocket. One of the things Harkins has never understood is that putting tax dollars into the Shakespeare Theater (and that fabulous White House), a world-famous Theater, is investment, investment in Stratford's future. Watch him say NO! And watch all those who have no vision say NO! And then watch (as we've seen in the past) businesses fail because they have no customer base or traffic to build on. Watch Stratford (as it always has) say NO! Let's hope this report doesn't just remain paper.
Rockannand June 16, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Let's be clear. The events of the past few weeks demonstrates that STratford is not saying no. Just a few oin Town Hall backed by the developers who have had their sights on that property since the Louis Burke debacle. When 1300+ people sign a petition in 3 weeks from all over the state and country, we the people know we want for this town. Its time for the people to demand that the Mayor and the Council start serving us instead of acting like this town is theirs to do with what they please. We say NO to Councilman Sports Complex and the others who have their head in the sand.
JRP June 17, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Whether the decision is to bring back the theater and make it a success, or to do something else with the area that is equally successful, the most frustrating thing to me is that we can't just have some intelligent people all openly take a stance and debate this in a very candid and logical manner, then vote on it in terms of what everyone feels is truly best for Stratford after hearing such debate with an open mind. Then, most importantly, actually stay committed to whatever decision was made and MAKE IT WORK. I would be happy with a new and successful theater, but I'd also be happy with anything--even something I don't personally think is the best option. To see what has gone on with this theater over the years--a process filled with incompetence, indecision, and wasteful spending that has gotten us no closer to a solution, is the biggest shame. Whether it was torn down years ago or open with shows playing, it is shameful that this is still an unresolved topic of debate. I applaud all politicians who can actually take an open stance on something, even if it's not popular, then stay committed to that plan and execute it. An ability to do that is something I will always respect, even if I don't always agree with the decisions.


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