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From: "h-chartrand" <h-chartrand@home.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 15:22:50 -0600
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The Economics of It All

Journal of Arts Management, Law & Society
Volume 28, No.2 , Summer 1998 (pending)
A Complimentary Preview Copy
An HTML Version available on e-mail request
Harry Hillman Chartrand
Cultural Economist &
Publisher,Compiler Press
(c) June 1998
e-mail: h-chatrand@home.com

With publication of the Final Report of 92nd American Assembly,
it is time to offer some observations and thoughts. Nearly 100 people from
the profit, nonprofit and public sectors of the American arts industry came
together, talked and collectively drafted a consensus report concerning Art
and the Public Purpose(http://www.columbia.edu/cu/amassembly/arts/arts.html
. To my knowledge this was the first time that these communities have
formally met to discuss their hopes and fears and possible ways of working
together. It was, however, the second time that the American Assembly has
addressed questions about the role and place of the arts in America. In
1990, the Assembly addressed: The Arts & Government - Questions for the
The 92nd Assembly, and its most recent report, represent a
significant station stop along the road to full societal recognition and
informed investment in the American arts industry. There were, however, two
tears in the fabric of the 92nd Assembly and in its Final Report. One
involves definition, the other, inclusiveness. Neither could not be
avoided by the organizers, in spite of their heroic best efforts.

First, the Assembly did not produce a clear, concise and
compelling definition of the American arts industry. Lacking such a
definition, we are left with an amorphous, ill-defined sector of American
society struggling for self-identity. Thus the arts, in my mind, remain
unable to effectively compete in the court of public opinion with clearly
defined economic ‘sectors’ such as business, education, health, science and
technology. Having prepared a background paper for the Assembly (Towards An
American Arts Industry), attended its deliberations and read its final
report, I now offer such a definition:
The arts industry, or more properly, ‘the arts sector’ includes
all profit, nonprofit and public enterprise and institutions including
incorporated and unincorporated enterprise as well as self-employed artists
(a) use one or more of the arts as a primary factor of production, e.g.
advertising, fashion, industrial and product design;
(b) use one or more of the arts as a tied-good in consumption, e.g.
home entertainment hardware, magazines and newspapers; and/or,
(c) produce one or more of the arts as their final output, i.e. create,
produce, distribute and/or conserve goods and services in the literary,
media, performing, visual and/or heritage arts.
The term ‘tide-good’ requires further explanation. An example
is the old ‘punch card’ computer. The computer could not operate without
such cards which, technically, were an output of the pulp, paper and
publishing industries, sequentially. Similarly, there can be no mass market
for home entertainment hardware, e.g. TVs and VCRs , unless there is a mass
market for audio-video software, and vice-versa. These are tied-goods in
consumption, they are like hand and glove.
Furthermore, it is likely that the home entertainment centre is
the third most expensive consumer durable purchased by the average American,
after his or her house and car. Similarly, private collections of books,
photographs, records, tapes and works in the visual arts (including black
velveteen Elvis’) are present in every American home and represent an
enormous repository of American cultural and financial wealth.
Using this inclusive definition, one can say that the American
arts industry accounts for at least 6% and at most 8.5% of Gross National
Product, i.e all goods and services consumed in America but not necessarily
produced there. It ranks at most 6th and at least 7th among the ten major
sectors of the American economy recognized by the Department of Commerce
including, in descending order by income size: manufacturing; services;
finance; government; transportation and utilities; retail trade; wholesale
trade; construction; agriculture, forestry and fishing; and, mining.
The arts industry also ranks at most 5th after medical,
educational and service industries, and at least 10th after petroleum
products among 77 private sector industries identified in the Input/Output
Matrix for the American economy. By the same measuring rod, it also
contributes at least 13% and at most 45% of the American trade deficit with
the rest of the world.

Second, while the Assembly succeeded in bringing some parts of
the profit, nonprofit and public sector arts communities together, it failed
to achieve full integration of all market segments of the arts industry.
The Assembly was dominated by the media and performing arts with much lip
service paid to arts education and amateurism. To a degree, the dominant
coalition reflects a contemporary courtship of the screen by the stage arts
in a period of public sector cutbacks and fiscal restraint. Thus the Disney
Corporation was held in awe by the live nonprofit performing arts community
represented at the Assembly because of Disney’s success in reversing the
traditional path from stage to screen, e.g. Beauty and the Beast from screen
to stage. Absent or under-represented at the Assembly, however, were three
important segments of the industry - the applied and decorative arts, arts
labor unions and the education through art movement.

a) The Applied & Decorative Arts
First, the applied and decorative arts were under-represented
at the Assembly with a sole architect representing the interests and
aspirations of this market segment. Architects and designers represent
almost 45% of all Census defined artists. Architects and designers are the
visual ecologists of the human environment. It is they who apply art to the
skylines of our cities, the clothes we wear, the malls at which we shop, the
design of the cereal boxes on our breakfast tables, our homes and
furnishings, the cars we drive, the places we work and the churches and
temples in which we pray. As to why were they under-represented, a partial
and incomplete answer will be presented below under d) Implications.

b) Art Labor Unions
Second, arts labor unions were conspicuous by their absence.
They represent one of the most unionised, educated and powerful sectors of
the American labor movement. After the public sector, the arts industry is
probably the most unionized sector in America. To the credit of the
organizers of the Assembly they were invited. They choose not to attend.
Why? Probably because of traditional animus between labor and management
which was well represented at the Assembly. Even in the arts industry,
tension between labor and management remains high and trust low.

c) Education through Art
The “education through art movement”, one of few ‘integrative’
intellectual movements in modern America, was absent from the Assembly.
“Art thru ed’ sees art as ‘a way of knowing” as important to cognitive skill
development of adults and children as reading, writing and arithmetic. It
promotes a distinct multicultural, transnational ‘mindscape’ not limited to
the production skills taught through ‘arts education’.
The word education derives from “educe” meaning “to bring out, develop from
latent or potential existence”. Traditionally, this has involved the
intellectual and moral faculties. This contrasts with “training” which
means “bringing to a desired state or standard of efficiency by instruction
and practice”. Education thus refers to something inherent to the
individual while training refers to something external As one progresses
through primary, secondary and tertiary education the two terms blur leading
from general to specialised education and training.
Beyond general and professional education, however, there lays
the question of specialised education in the arts at the primary, secondary
and tertiary levels offered by the profit (including private teachers),
nonprofit and public sectors. Among professional educators there are at
least four distinct types of education in art. The first is ‘art education’
which usually refers to development of visual arts skills such as drawing
and painting. The second is ‘arts education’ which generally refers to skill
development in any of the art forms - literary, media, performing or visual
arts. The third is ‘discipline-based education’, a term coined by the Getty
Center for Education in the Arts http://www.artsednet.getty.edu/, which
refers to a sequential and cumulative study of art integrating arts
production, art history, art criticism and aesthetics. It should be noted
that the Getty Center was represented at the Assembly by its Chairperson.
Finally, there is ‘education through art’ which refers to art as a distinct
‘way of knowing’ oneself and one’s world including teaching subjects such as
mathematics and science through the arts.
Education through art reflects a view similar to that put
forward by the Club of Rome six years after its 1972 classic The Limits to
Growth http://www.clubofrome.org/cor_history.htm. In 1978 the Club
published No Limits to Learning in which it proposed that the most important
planetary resource was human learning. The authors noted, however, that
while there was no limit to learning, contemporary society tends to
elevate language and mathematics above all other forms of learning including
the arts. Similarly, Naom Chomsky has suggested that the artistic faculty
(like language) is a genetic organ like eyes and ears.

d) Implications
The absence of these three communities - the applied and
decorative arts, arts labor unions and education through art - reflects, in
my mind, continuing unease in America about the marriage between aesthetic
and utilitarian values. This, in turn, brings to mind an old ’British-style
’ definition of art as useless and unique with the upper classes going to
the Academy while the crafts are useful and reproducible with the lower
classes go to design schools. The inability to integrate the ‘useful arts’
at the Assembly perpetuates an artistic apartheid that has historically
plagued and ‘ghettoized’ the diverse communities of interest that make up
the arts industry in America. It is a plague that must be cured if America
is to retain cultural economic dominance in the emerging global
knowledge-based economy of the 21st century.

Among the recommendations emerging from the Assembly and its
Final Report is a call for more research and more meetings. Given the path
breaking role played by the 92nd American Assembly in bringing the profit,
nonprofit and public sector arts communities together, it is to be hoped
that a chain reaction will set in across America. This would provide the
opportunity to produce a clear, concise and compelling definition of the
American arts industry and achieve full integration of all its diverse
market segments. Then and only then can the full force and power of the
arts be brought to bear in the court of public opinion to shape the future
face of America. This is a just and noble cause. Art, after all, is as
important as science to the economy. It is also as important, if not more
so, to the mental health, welfare and education of the human psyche. In
this century, science has given us the vision of the earth from space - one
world, one biosphere and one human race. In the next century, art must mold
a humanistic mask for this futuristic vision.

Harry Hillman Chartrand (c)
Cultural Economist
706 Lansdowne Avenue
Saskatoon, SK, Canada, S7N 1EN
Telephone: (306) 244-6945
e-mail: h-chatrand@home.com
June 1998

for a revised and reduced version of the full report see: Chartrand, H.H.,
"Towards an American Arts Industry" in The Arts and the Public Purpose ,
M. Wyszomirski and Joni Cherbo (eds),
Rutgers University Press, 1998 (pending).

Harry Hillman Chartrand (c)
Chief Economist, Compiler Press
706 Lansdowne Avenue
Saskatoon, SK, Canada, S7N 1E5
Telephone: (306) 244-6945
e-mail: h-chartrand@home.com
May 1998


Current, Past & Proposed Provisions of the Act
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About the Author
The author's CV is available in HTML or alternative formats on e-mail
For WWW available works by the author, or summaries of his works, please
“Rusty Nail on the Information Superhighway: User Charges and Federal
Government Information”, Government Information in Canada, University of
Saskatchewan, http://www.usask.ca/library/gic/v3n4/chartrand/chartrand.html,
Spring/Summer 1997
Architecture & Design Arts Occupations 1940 to 1990, National Endowment for
the Arts, Research Division, Washington, D.C., (ERIC ED 394864
http://ericir.syr.edu/plweb-cgi/fastweb?searchform+ericdb - search under
Harry Chartrand), 1996.
“The 1995-96 Federal Cultural Budget”, Government Information in Canada,
University of Saskatchewan
http://www.usask.ca/library/gic/v2n3/chartrand2/chartrand2.html, Winter
“Intellectual Property in the Global Village”, Government Information in
Canada, University of Saskatchewan
http://www.usask.ca/library/gic/v1n4/chartrand/chartrand.html, Spring 1995.
The American Arts Industry: Size and Significance, National Endowment for
the Arts, Research Division, Washington, D.C. (ERIC ED 410812
http://ericir.syr.edu/plweb-cgi/fastweb?searchform+ericdb - search under
Harry Chartrand), 1993.
“Contribution of Arts Education to National Income... the pattern which
sells the thing”, The Future: Challenge of Change - A New Anthology for
Higher Education, (ed) N. Yakel, National Art Education Association of
America, Reston, Virginia, (ERIC ED375070,
http://ericir.syr.edu/plweb-cgi/fastweb?searchform+ericdb - search under
Harry Chartrand), 1992.
"Introduction: The Value of Economic Reasoning and the Arts in Economic
Impact of the Arts: A Handbook, A.J. Radich, S. Schwock (eds), National
Conference of State Legislatures, Washington, D.C., (ERIC 387435
http://ericir.syr.edu/plweb-cgi/fastweb?searchform+ericdb- search under
Harry Chartrand), 1987.

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