The Twin Cities is recognized across the country as a hotbed for the arts, which not only enhances cultural life but strengthens the region in other ways. Dozens of art galleries, theater companies, music venues, design firms, and other arts organizations attract talented workers, high-paying firms, and growth industries to this area. This natural relationship between cultural abundance and economic prosperity is a cornerstone of the influential "creative class" theory that explains why some cities thrive and others wither.
Yet creativity is not limited to privileged, upper-middle class circles. The arts make a substantial impact in low-income and minority communities by knitting community bonds, inspiring young people, animating a new sense of possibility, bolstering economic development, and forging a positive identity for challenged neighborhoods.