Developing Boston’s arts community

Illustrations by Ean Spangler for the Boston Globe

The arts are not merely an add-on — a luxury — but an essential component of the state’s quality of life. The Massachusetts arts community encompasses roughly 6,000 arts and cultural organizations that support more than 45,000 jobs. A report last summer by ArtsBoston showed that nonprofit arts and cultural organizations boost the Boston economy alone by $1 billion every year. Arts education has been shown to improve student performance across the disciplines and to transform troubled schools. And it is impossible to imagine the turnarounds in economically distressed cities like Pittsfield, North Adams, and Lowell without investment in the arts.

As Boston welcomes its new arts czar, the creative community weighs in on Massachusetts’ potential.

Mouse over images below (or tap on a mobile device) for each idea, and click on the text to read more.

Illustrations by Ean Spangler for the Boston Globe for The Boston Globe. Online presentation: Nicole Hernandez and Alvin Chang/Globe staff.