First-Ever Convening by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Brookings Institution on the Arts and Economic Development

Washington, DC --  On May 10, the Brookings Institution and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will co-host "The Arts, New Growth Theory, and Economic Development" a symposium with leading economists that will explore theories on the role of art and culture in the U.S. economy. This is a first-ever collaboration between the federal arts agency and Brookings. This public event takes place on Thursday, May 10, 2012, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. 

New growth theory argues that, in advanced economies, economic growth stems less from the acquisition of additional capital and more from innovation and new ideas. This symposium will examine new growth theory as a tool for assessing the impact of art and culture on the U.S. economy, including the theory that cities play a major role in facilitating economic growth. The symposium will feature papers jointly commissioned by the NEA Office of Research and Analysis and Michael Rushton, the co-editor of the Journal of Cultural Economics. The presentations will be moderated by experts from Brookings, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Commerce, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

"The NEA is honored to co-host a symposium with the Brookings Institution," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman.  "When significant economists and policy experts are talking about the arts and the U.S. economy, it's clear that the arts play a role in the growth, innovation, and well-being of our nation." 

This event is part of a new direction for NEA research, to convene more gatherings and conduct more research on the value and impact of the arts in other domains of American life, such as education, health and well-being, community liveability, and economic prosperity.

Ed Glaeser, Harvard economist and author of Triumph of the City (Penguin Press, 2011), will give keynote remarks; along with a some of the nation's leading cultural economists, other speakers will include Bruce Katz, vice president and co-director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, and Carol Graham, senior fellow in the Foreign Policy and Global Economy and Development Programs at Brookings and author of Happiness Around the World (Oxford University Press, 2010).

“The Arts, New Growth Theory, and Economic Development,” takes place May 10, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm at The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC. Audiences may RSVP online or by calling the Brookings Office of Communications at 202-797-6105.  Media may RSVP to Sally Gifford at NEA Public Affairs, at 202-682-5606. Archived video of this symposium will be available on the Brookings website following the event. 

The full schedule for "The Arts, New Growth Theory, and Economic Development," is as follows:

9:00 am   Welcome   

Bruce Katz
Vice President and Director, Metropolitan Policy Program
The Brookings Institution

Rocco Landesman
National Endowment for the Arts

9:15 am   Panel One: Creative Clustering   

Moderator: Bruce Katz
Vice President and Director, Metropolitan Policy Program
The Brookings Institution

Juan Mateos-Garcia
Research Fellow
National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, UK

Stephen Sheppard
Williams College

Charles Gray
University of St. Thomas 

10:30 am   Break
10:45 am   Panel Two: Economic Growth and Innovation   

Moderator: Alan Marco
Deputy Chief Economist
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Margaret Wyszomirski
Ohio State University

Bob Root-Bernstein
Michigan State University

Douglas Noonan
Associate Professor
Georgia Institute of Technology 

12:00 pm   Lunch Break
12:25 pm   Featured Speaker   

Edward Glaeser
Professor and Director, Taubman Center for State and 
Local Government
Harvard University

Moderator: Bonnie Nichols
Office of Research & Analysis
National Endowment for the Arts

1:15   Break
1:30 pm   Panel Three: Capital Investment and Cultural Consumption   

Moderator: Michael Rushton
Associate Professor, Indiana University
Co-editor, Journal of Cultural Economics

Rachel Soloveichik
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Ann Markusen
Professor and Director, Arts Economy Initiative and the Project on Regional and Industrial Economics
University of Minnesota

Roland Kushner
Assistant Professor
Muhlenberg College

2:45 pm   Break
3:00 pm   Panel Four: Case Studies on the Arts and Economic Development   

Moderator: Valerie Piper
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Development
Department of Housing & Urban Development

Richard Maloney
Assistant Professor
Boston University

Lauren Schmitz
Ph.D. Student in Economics 
New School for Social Research

Jenny Schuetz
Assistant Professor
University of Southern California

4:15 pm   Discussion: Arts and Economic Well-Being   

Moderator: Sunil Iyengar
Director, Office of Research & Analysis
National Endowment for the Arts

Carol Graham
Senior Fellow
The Brookings Institution  

About the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at


Sally Gifford