Gov. Pat Quinn wants arts to be an economic and social engine in the state and on Tuesday launched the Illinois Creative Economy Initiative to find ways to grow the nearly $3 billion creative economy in the state.
"Culture and art are not only important for the soul, number one, but it's also -- it means business. It means jobs," Quinn said at the Arts Alliance Council's Make Art Work forum.
The effort will be lead by Ra Joy, who currently serves as the executive director of the Illinois Arts Alliance and holds a spot on the Chicago Cultural Advisory Council.
The governor's office said the arts create more than $300 million in state and local tax revenue and support 78,000 full-time equivalent jobs for artists, managers, marketers, designers, carpenters and other related professions.