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Art and cultural events have an important impact on local economy

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According to yesterday’s Poughkeepsie Journal a new SUNY study found that the arts in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties “generate nearly a half-billion dollars in economic activity and are linked to nearly 5,000 jobs.” And that just counts the money; think of the cultural enjoyment and benefits they also bring.

“The Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach at the State University of New York at New Paltz analyzed data from 517 arts and culture organizations” across these counties to reach these conclusions. We always knew art was good for us and assumed it helped the region, but now there is proof.

In that vein, news today of the Phoenicia/Shandaken Studio Tour on July 18-20 can be seen in a completely new context. Not only is it a fun family event and a great way to meet neighbors and make new friends, but it is good for the Hudson Valley too!

Here is a link to an interactive map showing the dozens of artist’s studios and listing the different art and cultural events scheduled for that week.

A few weeks later, August 8, 9 & 10, when you find yourself jonesing for more art and vicarious looks into artist’s lives, the Saugerties Artists Studio Tour features an A (Abrams) to Z (Zaloom) listing of 34 artists participating in this fun-filled 12th annual event.

The Saugerties Artists Studio Tour will begin with a reception on Friday, August 8, 2014, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Gallery At Opus 40, 50 Fite Road, Saugerties. This art show and reception kicks off two days of open artists studios throughout the Saugerties Township.

These events are sponsored by just two of the more than 500 arts organizations that participated in the SUNY study. Together they represent cultural events for nearly every day of the year. While your attendance isn’t required at every one of these events, by attending you contribute to the financial well-being of the region while enjoying some amazing concerts, theater and artistic programs. You’ll also meet a lot of very nice people sharing the experience with you!

So, for your own good and the good of the Hudson Valley, get your arts in gear and get your friends and family to some arts events!

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