Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to speak with area artists at the Brunner Gallery in Covington and share with them my appreciation for the important role of the arts and cultural industry in our state. This is an industry that is often unrecognized but is actually very important to our economy on the Northshore and throughout the state of Louisiana.
Here is some information that I thought you may find interesting:
- Arts events in LA attract 23 million attendees
- Arts organizations and nonprofit organizations sponsoring arts activities have an economic impact of $315 million with the entire arts industry providing a total economic impact of $934 million in Louisiana
- Every dollar in state support for the arts leverages $7 in earned and contributed revenue
- Louisiana's cultural enterprises provide nearly 144,000 jobs for Louisiana citizens, accounting for 7.6% of total employment
- More than 54,000 arts events are sponsored by Louisianas non-profit organizations
- 46% of LA residents attend arts events
- 85,000 people volunteer for the arts
- 90% of all money spent on arts programming stays in LA
- Total government investment in the arts of $55 million results in $150 million in government tax revenue or 2.7 times the investment
- We have four live theatres with full seasons of plays and performances, several ballet and dance companies, and over 60 non-profit arts organizations
- Major events include the Abita Springs Opry, Shakespeare in Bogue Falaya Park in Covington, and Arts Evening in Slidell
- Mandevilles North Star Theatre is one of only three professional theaters in the state
- Art at the Park and the Spring for Art brings art lovers and collectors from throughout the region to Western St. Tammany
- Slidell hosts the Antique District Street Fairs in April and October
- Slidell is home to the Cultural Center, hosting regional and traveling art exhibits and the Slidell Museum which has exhibits on local history
- Parish government created the St. Tammany Arts Commission, a government body whose mission is to nurture, sustain and enhance the arts in St. Tammany Parish
- The Hammond Regional Arts Center is Tangipahoa Parishs main showcase for artists. It is also used by authors, lecturers and college professors
- Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond produces Fanfare every October, which is a month-long celebration that attracts artists, authors and performers from around the country
- In Ponchatoula, the Public Art Commission has raised $160,000 in recent years to commission two bronze sculptures along Main Street. The town hosts a music and arts festival each March called Strawberry Jam
In Louisiana, and especially on the Northshore, the arts and cultural industry is thriving. However, we need to do more at the state level to provide opportunities for our talented artists. Without question, the arts and cultural industry is a wise investment that brings positive returns for Louisiana taxpayers. For every dollar in state support, over $7 in earned and contributed revenue is returned on that investment.
As your State Senator, I will focus on ways to expand this industry and create more jobs in our state so our gifted artists will not only be able to delight art patrons, but also be able to make a living while keeping their talents here in Louisiana.
Throughout the campaign for State Senate, I will continue to provide you my observations and suggestions on significant issues facing the state. It is time for leadership in Baton Rouge, and I stand ready to lead as the next State Senator for District 11. The election will be held on Saturday, October 20. Please join me in this campaign to not only become your next State Senator, but to also begin the long process of turning around the great State of Louisiana.
I encourage you to contact me with your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. I can be reached at (985) 612-1034 or via e-mail at
Candidate for LA State Senate, District 11