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Local arts advocate and Cultural Alliance of Medfield Chair Jean Mineo was among the contingent of state arts, business, education and political leaders at the recent, invitation-only launch of the "Arts Means Business" advocacy campaign in Boston featuring Mayor Marty Walsh.
In addition to Walsh, featured speakers included Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce President James Rooney, Massachusetts State Senate President Stan Rosenberg, and San San Wong, Director of Arts & Creativity at the Barr Foundation. The foundation funded the most recent national Arts & Economic Prosperity Study in which Medfield was the only small Massachusetts community that participated.
Local participation in the study was spearheaded by Mineo, who rallied the involvement of 17 Medfield arts and culture non-profit organizations. The study showed that in Medfield alone, arts and culture has a big impact on the local economy with $3.1 million spent in just one year, 125 full-time jobs sustained (4 percent of the town workforce) and $224,000 returned to local and state governments. A link to the full report can be found on the home page of medfieldculture.org in the "newsletter" box.“It was inspiring to be among such a prominent group of leaders and share Medfield's story about the arts vision – especially at the state hospital site. People from a variety of sectors were deeply interested and engaged. It was wonderful to hear ideas from people like Berklee College of Music President Roger Brown and Foundation for MetroWest Executive Director Judy Salerno. They immediately understood how culture and the arts could not only be self-sustainable, but contribute to the overall economic vitality of our town,” said Mineo.
Likewise, Boston Chamber leader Rooney stressed that "talent wants to be in a city that embraces arts and culture" and that it's much more than just enjoyment. Touting employment statistics and other data, he stressed that the arts is a major contributor and vital component of the local creative economy, and noted that "a healthy, growing, supported arts center" is a critical component of Greater Boston's talent retention and attraction strategy.
The event was held at the new East Coast headquarters of Sonos, a home audio company founded in California that now employs more than 400 people in Boston alone. Sonos marketing chief Joy Howard, a former indie musician, reinforced the overall message about the importance of a vibrant arts community to overall work-life satisfaction.