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New Concert Halls Reduce Money for Other Activities

''A new theater is not automatically simply great news,'' said Marc Scorca, the president of Opera America, an organization serving opera companies nationwide.  When a hall is added, he said, it may just divert audiences and their dollars from other performance and cultural institutions.

''This is all redistributing people's expenditures from one activity to another,'' said David Galenson, an economist at the University of Chicago who focuses on the arts.

Tyler Cowen, a professor of economics at George Mason University and the author of ''Good and Plenty:  The Creative Successes of American Arts Funding,'' said there was little solid research measuring the economic impact of arts centers on a city, although there was for sports stadiums.  Such research shows no benefit for a city's growth, he said, adding that he was skeptical about economic claims for new concert halls.

''The glorious tales are typically exaggerations,'' said Mr. Cowen, who also contributes a monthly economics column to The New York Times.


For the full story, see: 

DANIEL J. WAKIN.  "This Season's Must-Have Urban Accessory."  The New York Times, Section 2  (Sun., September 3, 2006):  1 & 17.

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