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Arts in the Afternoon: Power and Money

5:01 PM, May 3, 2011 • By KELLY JANE TORRANCE
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"NEA Research Director Sunil Iyengar said the fact that performing arts ticket revenue is bigger than movie ticket sales will surprise many people." Not those who know that movie tickets are around $10, and a night at the opera can start at $100. Another story on the study conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts offers more numbers. But if the goal was to emphasize the importance of arts to Americans in the hopes of keeping federal dollars secure, is trumpeting the fact that people spend so much on them the way to go? Left out, too, is the fact that live opera, for example, is expensive to produce, and can't count on revenues from a global audience, like movies can -- except, perhaps, for those produced by the Met, which offers an HD performance an opera through cinemas.

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