"I have never seen it proven that public money for arts results in an increase in revenue to the government." -- then you haven't bothered looking, or Google doesn't work at your house.
I have yet to see an example of a city that made a substantial investment in the arts and culture didn't see it pay off with massive returns.
Charlotte invested in the Arts to lure fortune 500 companies and bank headquarters - totally paid off for them and they continue to grow faster than Atlanta as a result. Business relocates to places where there is something for their employees to do. Helps with retention.
Denver started thinking regionally about arts and culture funding first, and transportation issues they had never been able to solve regionally previously followed suit.
Chicago built the bean -- and revitalized an entirely written off portion of their city.
Good ole' Bernie built a fishtank in Atlanta, and almost singlehandedly transformed downtown Atlanta as a result.
Show me a city that was making a substantial/meaningful investment in the arts and then cut back the same way Atlanta/Georgia has because they didn't see the ROI. You can't. Hasn't happened.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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