Why Aren’t Arts Jobs “Jobs”?

Who am I, Foxy Tann, to get involved in all of this high falutin’ political talk? I am just a burlesque icon with an afro and an attitude. And worse, I live in “fly-over” country (Minneapolis) and we don’t know nothin’ out here on the Prairie. But I got me some questions that I think we I to have answered.

Why aren’t arts jobs “jobs”?

I don’t know why, but for some reason in this debate that our country is having about job creation, jobs that can be created in the arts and entertainment industry don’t seem to be “jobs”. Why not? Arts organizations provide jobs that pay people…not a lot a lot of the time, but people pay rent, taxes and buy cars with that money. Why aren’t these jobs worth creating? I bet that arts organizations could employ more people on less money than a giant corporation could ANY day, and you would watch an explosion of American arts and culture which would do nothing but help dispel that impression that all Americans are rubes, hicks and religious zealots. It’s a win win all the way around as far as The Fox is concerned.

Here in Minnesota, they keep talking about making Minnesota a “better business climate” that would lure employers to Minnesota to set up shop. I keep thinking that the same concept could be applied to our already robust arts communities. Imagine it, all sorts of stimulus money going to arts organizations to lure them to Minnesota to set up shop or for existing shops to expand. There are jobs there. Administrative assistants,  maintenance people, box office, accountants, servers, bartenders, parking attendants and cashiers, not to mention the artists, curators, performers, designers, marketers, IT people, set builders, electricians, dancers, sound techs, stage run crews, musicians, programmers, directors and producers. And all of this artsy fartsy stuff that Republicans don’t think is necessary generates other businesses, like restaurants, bars, parking lots, souvenir shops and all of these businesses create jobs.  Kinda like downtown Minneapolis, right?

I mean, FDR did it, why can’t we?