When government proposes finding “untapped capital” in the arts, artists may be wary. For the city, the growth of an arts district means money in the bank; for artists, it usually means finding a new apartment. Still, in last week’s Ideas City mayoral panel, a fairly compelling pro-tapping case was made by five former mayors of Austin, Nashville, Paris, and Miami, and the current mayor of Lexington, Kentucky—all of whom have significantly improved the living standards in each of their cities. Several told stories of recovering from a deep recession, often simply by nurturing local color, though that was prominently lacking in the panel itself.
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