A new report shows the arts are a booming business in Wisconsin.

The Arts and Economic Prosperity report found non-profit art groups in Wisconsin generated over $418 million in economic activity in 2005. Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton says those figures show the great value the arts are having on the state because of the important lessons they can teach.

However, Lawton says Wisconsin is falling behind when it comes to supporting the arts. She says the state ranks 43rd in the US for spending on the arts. Wisconsin only spends about 44 cents per person each year. That's compared to Minnesota, which ranked 9th nationally and spends $1.67 per person.

Lawton says the arts are important to the growth of Wisconsin businesses. She says that exposure is how the students of today learn how to express their ideas, and keeps the state on the cutting edge of innovation.

The report is part of a nationwide study, conducted by Americans for the Arts .

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports. (MP3 1:02)

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