Rutherford County Emerging As Arts and Cultural Center

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"Rutherford County is emerging as an arts and cultural heritage community celebrating a broad spectrum of creative expressions," says Andrea Loughry, Murfreesboro arts advocate and vice chair of the Tennessee Arts Commission.

The arts and culture industry continues to be an economic driver as indicated in the recent Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) study, which showed that it generates $31.2 million in annual economic activity in Rutherford County alone.

"The numbers from each study continue to prove the economic impact of the arts in our community is on the rise and the best is yet to come," says Loughry.

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Southern Methodist University's (SMU) National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) released its fourth annual Arts Vibrancy Index, which ranks more than 900 communities across the country, examining the level of supply, demand, and government support for the arts in each city. Aside from being a source of job creation, economic growth and tourism, the arts and culture industry contributes to social well-being and are essential to communities.

Communities that value the arts invest in it, and those investments are reflected in the number of art providers, the dollars associated with the industry, and the level of government support attracted from state and federal sources.

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"The National Center for Arts Research ranking further indicates that the arts industry continually contribute to Rutherford County's tourism economic impact," said Barbara Wolke, senior vice president, Rutherford County Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Whether visitors are attending events like the Uncle Dave Macon Days Music and Arts Festival or shows at the Center for the Arts, cash registers are ringing. Tourists are staying in our hotels, dining in our restaurants and shopping in local retail stores," said Wolke.

Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN ranked #4 on the Annual Arts Vibrancy Index for large communities (population over 1,000,000). The area has long been known for its expansive music scene, but the emergence of world-class visual arts and fashion has put Middle Tennessee on the map as an artistic and culturally rich destination.

About NCAR

The SMU National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) acts as a catalyst for the transformation and sustainability of the national arts and cultural community. Its mission is to be the leading provider of evidence-based insights that enable arts and cultural leaders to overcome challenges and increase impact. For more information, visit www.smu.edu/artsresearch.

About Rutherford County Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Convention and Visitors Bureau is the primary marketing arm of the county and works under the umbrella of the Chamber of Commerce. The CVB strives to promote the county as a destination for group tours, meetings and conferences, sporting events, and leisure travelers. For more information, visit the CVB's website at www.ReadySetRutherford.com.

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Andrea Loughry, arts and cultural heritage community, Rutherford County, Tennessee Arts Commission, WGNS
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