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Regional study outlines how arts contributes to economy

RELEASE DATE: June 8, 2007

TAVARES — Lake County is pleased to collaborate with myregion.org and American for the Arts to unveil the first ever Central Florida Arts and Economic Prosperity Study.

The study, which is available online at www.myregion.org, suggests that when local communities support art initiatives, it not only enhances the quality of life, but it invests in the region's economic well being.

"What an opportunity for Lake County to be part of such a regional focus on the beneficial effects that the arts have on the economy in our community," said Lake County Commissioner Debbie Stivender. "This is just another way the Board of County Commissioners and staff strive to continuously support the arts and cultural communities that we all take so much pride in."

The Lake County Department of Tourism & Business Relations was an active partner in the study. The Department, in collaboration with myregion.org, contacted dozens of art organizations throughout the County to distribute and collect hundreds of surveys. The organizations from Lake County included Florida Lakes Symphony, Mount Dora Center for the Arts, Bay Street Theatre, City of Tavares, Young Performing Artists and the Lake County Library System. In addition, during the past year, tourism staff attended many locally hosted cultural events to conduct surveys.

"We know how valuable the arts are to our quality of life, but this study also reinforces how valuable the arts are to our economic prosperity," said Kathy Pagan, Lake County Tourism Specialist.

For more information about the study, call Kathy Pagan at (352) 429-4755 or Karine Moreau, Program Manager for myregion.org, at 407-835-2487.

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klafollette@lakecountyfl.gov

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