Gifts of the Muse: Reframing the Debate about the Benefits of the Arts

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Annotation Current arguments for private and public investment in the arts emphasize the potential of the arts to serve broad social and economic goals. Intrinsic benefits (the arts "enrich people's lives") are outweighed by instrumental benefits (the arts "contribute to the public good"). This volume aims to improve our understanding of the full range of effects of the arts in order to inform public debate and policy. The authors review all the benefits associated with the arts, analyze how they may be created, and examine how they accrue to individuals and communities through different forms of arts participation. The authors present a new framework for analyzing the benefits of the arts that incorporates intrinsic and instrumental benefits and distinguishes among the ways these benefits affect the public welfare. In the process, they argue for a broader understanding of the benefits of arts involvement and for the importance of developing policies to ensure that the benefits of the arts are realized by a greater number of Americans.

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About the author (2004)

Arthur C. Brooks (born May 21, 1964) is an American author, social scientist and musician, and currently serves as the president of the American Enterprise Institute. At the age of 19, he left college to play the French horn professionally. After touring internationally and recording several albums, he eventually landed in the City Orchestra of Barcelona. Nearly a decade later, Brooks returned to the US and completed his bachelor's degree by correspondence. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in public policy, focusing on microeconomic and mathematical modeling. After completing his doctorate, he spent 10 years as a professor of public administration. His titles include: The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier and More Prosperous America; The Battle: How the Fight between Big Government and Free Enterprise will Shape America's Future; Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America--And How We Can Get More of it; Social Entrepreneurship: A Modern Approach to Social Value Creation; and Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism.

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