mobile logo

Arts and Culture Not Enough to Sustain Phila

Posted by:  Kimmel Center on February 09, 2015

Kimmel Center Chairman of the Board of Directors Mr. David P. Holveck penned this response, part of which was published in the Philadelphia Inquirer (February 9, 2015), to Robert W. Patterson’s piece “Arts and Culture Not Enough to Sustain Phila.”

He is one of the many community voices that validates the impact of the arts and how they serve as an economic engine in Philadelphia.

To the Editor:

While Robert W. Patterson’s piece, “Arts and Culture Not Enough to Sustain Phila.”, sees a “malaise” in Philadelphia, I see a city soaring - with a vibrant arts community central to its ascent. And so does the New York Times, Forbes, and The Washington Post.  

According to findings by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, The Kimmel Center and its 8 Resident Companies annually generate an economic impact of $357 million, taxes of $18 million, while returning $122.3 million back to the community as household income.

For every dollar of support it has contributed to the Kimmel Center, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has received nearly $2.15 in state tax revenue, representing a $1.15 return on each dollar for a total of approximately $70 million in tax revenue. The arts are an economic engine in this city; the fact that the Kimmel Center’s $357 million represents only 11% of Philadelphia’s total economic impact generated by arts and cultural organizations is a testament to that.  

Patterson suggests that instead of investing in the arts, we should adopt policies to create a local manufacturing and industrial economy in Philadelphia. It’s not one or the other, we need a comprehensive effort that continues to make Philadelphia a destination where people want to live and where companies with good-paying jobs want to locate.

From our world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra to the iconoclast Mural Arts Program, we stand proudly with those who have helped reshape our city through the arts.


David P. Holveck
Board of Directors
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

(Photo via

< Previous Article Next Article >