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Chandler Center for the Arts will host an economic impact forum

Chandler Center for the Arts will host a panel discussion about the economic impact of the arts to cities on Wednesday.

Arts executives representing the U.S., Arizona and the Valley will discuss the role arts have in contributing to the vitality of local economies.

Michelle MacLennan, general manager of the Center and president of the Chandler Cultural Foundation, said the conversation for identifying and understanding the economic impact of the arts is long overdue for her city.

“It’s that arts-related spending. It’s the jobs the arts produce. It’s the driving force of downtown in our case for economic drivers. We have a 1,500-seat house and we’re driving people all day to go eat and stay in hotels," she said. 

Part of the presentation will examine data from the Arts & Economic Prosperity study led by Americans for the Arts, and MacLennan said this is the first year her city will be part of the revised study in its upcoming sixth iteration.

“We all know the arts are a vibrant part of the community. They’re also a major economic driver. We’re participating this time to really get a baseline, post-pandemic, of what is happening in Chandler," MacLennan said. 

Data released on March 30, 2021, by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed "Arizona’s arts and culture industries contributed $10.87 billion to the state’s economy in 2019, employing nearly 89,033 Arizonans who earned a combined $5.59 billion, contributing more to the State’s economy than mining, agriculture, and forestry combined," as noted by the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

The event begins at 4 p.m. at the Chandler Center for the Arts.  RSVP is requested.

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Tom Maxedon was the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition from 2017 to 2024.