The arts benefit us as individuals and as a community, offering both intrinsic benefits as well as instrumental benefits. The graph below shows this framework. These are the benefits that the arts bring to us individually. The arts inspire us and give us pleasure.
They give us thrilling, uplifting, emotionally-moving experiences. Because of the arts, we become better people. We understand better the plight of others.
Gifts of the Muse
We empathize, and we grow in our intellectual capacity. These are the benefits that make our communities nicer places to live. The arts give us a sense of place and community pride. We know each other better, and therefore feel more connected to one another. On a personal level, experience with the arts translates into improved learning skills, test scores, and better health.
We grow in self-confidence and self-efficacy, meaning we have a greater perceived ability to accomplish a variety of tasks. The community that invests in the arts benefits from greater economic growth and the development of social capital. Philanthropy is not a zero sum game.
Second, move to high-level public instrumental benefits. AND, we need to build and sustain a community that inspires innovation, fosters social cohesion, motivates young learners, and attracts new businesses.
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Investment in the arts builds an economy and a society better positioned to serve those in need in the future. At Mission Minded, we believe there are three elements to the formula for making a strong case for your organization:. Your nonprofit speaks to me from the heart, and then gives me the reasons why I can believe it, or rationalize writing a check. Think about your donor. What drives her? What does she care about?
- Rhinoceros Success.
- Revolutions in Development Inquiry.
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- The Journal of Major George Washington, 1754.
I think this is an attempt to use social science to make the case. I think this is a beginning.
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Gifts of the Muse: Reframing the Debate About the Benefits of the Arts
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