13 March 2013 // Thoughts

The Business of Culture: Museums and Economic Development

Most people (particularly in this industry) won’t argue that museums and cultural institutions are integral to the life-blood of urban environments. We at JRA certainly believe in the power of museums to educate, engage and entertain, and we strive to design and realize the best exhibits for our clients and their audiences. But what about the role of museums in the greater economic spectrum? Are museums good for business? Can they positively drive a community’s bottom line?

Over the next several weeks, we’ll explore the role of museums in economic development, including their effect on real estate, urban planning, employment and tourism. Along the way, we’ll travel to New York, Dublin and Manila, and even share some case studies from right here in our hometown of Cincinnati.

And for the first time at JRA+blog, we are crowdsourcing our posts. Have an example of a museum that has economically transformed its city or region? What about a mixed-use development driven by a cultural anchor? Has the creation of a museum or cultural institution led to an increase in job attraction or retention, or an influx of complementary businesses (restaurants/retail) in your community? Email me at crice@jackrouse.com, and you could find your case study (and name) in an upcoming JRA+blog post.

We hope you enjoy this series, and we’ll see you on the interwebs next week!

– Clara Rice
Editor, JRA+blog