Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC)

Arts & Economic Prosperity IV - Why It Matters

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Montgomery County is one of Maryland’s most dynamic jurisdictions combining a thriving business sector with top-notch schools, beautiful greenways, hip neighborhoods and a flourishing culture scene. With three of the state’s 19 designated Arts & Entertainment Districts and some 450 arts and humanities groups incorporated in the County, you could say that Montgomery County has an embarrassment of riches, but you’d only be half right.

Yes, we have world-class performing arts centers, remarkable dance, innovative theater, and the country’s most diverse folk and traditional community, but the cultural sector is more than a pretty face. It is one of the reasons businesses choose to settle here. You'll find the arts and humanities prominently listed on the Montgomery County’s Department of Economic Development website -- “Individuals and businesses alike are drawn to our world class performing arts venues and vibrant culture...[and] rich history and heritage dating from the American Revolution."  Diners in Bethesda Lane (BUP)

But again, that’s only part of the story, because the cultural sector is also an economic driver for the County. Cultural businesses create jobs, spend money, and stimulate millions of dollars in sister industries such as shopping and dining. Ever notice how you often pair a meal with a trip to the symphony? A glass of wine after a particularly good theater experience? And don’t forget transportation, parking and the babysitter. It all adds up. In 2010, Montgomery County's cultural patrons spent nearly $45.4 million dollars a year on meals and snacks. Not bad, and the waiters don’t even have to sing.

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