Why Arts & Culture Matter to Economic Development

M.A. RoskoThe Current had Fox 9 reporter M.A. Rosko, a Pennsylvania transplant, on the air this morning to talk about The Current’s birthday bash at First Avenue tonight. What caught my ear was her explanation about why she’s been in Minnesota the past 10 years:

“I moved here for the job, but I stayed for the local music and the local beer.”

I’ve met a couple of people who claim to have moved to the Twin Cities because of The Replacements, and I bet we could find a small army of twenty- and thirty-somethings who moved here or stayed here because of Atmosphere and Rhymesayers (Say Shhh…!). And well, you can’t get Surly beer in Chicago or South Dakota.

I tend to think the reasons people (and companies) choose to be in Minnesota get oversimplified and over-politicized. Taxes and regulation matter, to a degree. But my hunch is that those levers are severely limited if a place doesn’t have a vibrant “scene.”