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This article was prepared for the September 18, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Between the Lines

Lots of people like to say that a thriving arts environment

is good for the community at large. Urban centers are made more humane

by the presence of theaters and music halls, and patrons of the arts

bring hard cash into the neighborhood economy. But others might argue

that the equation works more in the opposite direction — that

thriving arts environments are a by-product of a thriving economy.

Either way, we at U.S. 1 remain committed to celebrating — and

reporting on — the arts in every issue. And every fall we reserve

the cover of one issue for the new seasons in drama, music, dance,

and all the rest. Turn to page 20 to see what arts editor Nicole Plett

has cooked up.

As for proof about the economic impact of the arts, we note last month’s

Los Angeles Times report on a study, conducted by an independent marketing

consultant and an economic research firm, of the recent 12-week Andy

Warhol retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Arts. The exhibit

attracted a total attendance of 195,000 people, compared to 65,700

who visited in the same time period in 2001.

Based on a survey of 600 people who attended, the researchers concluded

that overall the exhibit added $55.8 million to the city’s economy.

At a time when some major league baseball teams are crying poor, the

museum found a winner in Warhol: The show cost $2.7 million to mount,

but brought in $5.4 million in contributions, ticket sales, and memberships.

And in the arts equivalent of peanuts and Crackerjacks, the museum

gift shop sold $1.65 million in Warhol items.

Thankful Artists

JOY KREVES praised an article in the August 28 issue describing the

circular themes and patterns of her work at the TAWA Invitational

exhibit at the Ellarslie in Trenton. Writer Pat Summers, wrote Kreves,

"is an uncommonly good listener, and she wrote an insightful article.

The two photos reproduced well, and in a sense, I feel that the article

completes the exhibition."

Marie Sturken appreciated Nicole Plett’s September 4 review of the

Princeton Artists Alliance exhibit on Homer’s Odyssey at the Newark

Museum. "You have given a very fine portrayal of the challenges

of the theme, the ways in which the artists responded, and also our

own odyssey to Newark."


BILL BORTON, an employee benefits consultant with Fleet quoted in

a Survival Guide item in last week’s issue, wrote to note that only

New Jersey employers with over 50 employees may offer defined contribution

health plans of the type mentioned in the article.

Where U.S. 1 said that an employer would save only 3 to 4 percent

by signing up for an insurance plan with higher deductibles, he says

that greater savings could be realized by going from a very low co-pay,

perhaps $2, to one with a co-pay of 10 times that amount. Borton also

states that in a defined contribution plan, an employee might pay

20 percent of costs between, for example, $1,500 and $10,000, but

that the insurer — not the employer — generally would pay

100 percent of costs above the upper number.

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