Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FIVE CHEERS; Arts Have Impact

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FIVE CHEERS; Arts Have Impact

Article excerpt

Jacksonville is home to museums, a symphony orchestra, community theaters and many performance venues. Though many might not think about it, the arts in Jacksonville have a strong economic presence.

-- In 2004, the arts provided 388 full-time jobs and another 482 part time positions, totalling $21 million in expenditures, according to the Cultural Council.

-- Expenses of nearly $44.8 million were reported, which was spent on advertising, some salaries and capital expenditures.

-- More than 1.56 million admissions were reported.

-- According to the Cultural Council, the arts had an $87.7 million economic impact in Jacksonville in 2004.

The arts are always a strong indicator of community health.

Those working in the arts should be proud of the various shows and musical concerts they bring to Jacksonville each year.

RALLY BOOK DRIVE! RECEIVES BOOKS

For the last month, Jacksonville Chrysler-Jeep Dodge collected books for the RALLY Book Drive!, Mayor John Peyton's initiative to raise reading levels among young children. The dealership collected 3,642 books, filling a 2006 Dodge Magnum. In addition to its own contributions to the book drive, the dealership also offered $500 off a new car, if a book was donated to the drive. More than 70 books were generated through that effort.

Teaming up to provide more books for children who might not own a book is a remarkable example of our community coming together for the good of all children.

REWARDED WITH BIKES

More than 2,000 Duval County elementary and middle school students who met academic, attendance and conduct standards were presented with an opportunity to win one of 2,400 bicycles and helmets donated by Jay Stein, board chairman of Stein Mart Inc. and his wife, Deanie.

The Steins issued the bike challenge to third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders in schools that had free and reduced-cost lunch percentages of 65 percent or higher, a release said. Fifty-three schools in the district participated. …

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