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Washington, DC—New data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) offers an insightful picture of the impact the arts have on the nation’s economy. The arts contribute $763.6 billion to the U.S. economy, more than agriculture, transportation, or warehousing.  The arts employ 4.9 million workers across the country with earnings of more than $370 billion. Furthermore, the arts exported $20 billion more than imported, providing a positive trade balance.

• The arts added four times more to the U.S. economy than the agricultural sector and $200 billion more than transportation or warehousing.

• The arts saw a $20 billion trade surplus, leading with movies and TV programs and jewelry.

• The arts trended positively between 2012 and 2015 with an average growth rate of 2.6 percent, slightly higher than 2.4 percent for the nation’s overall economy. Between 2014 and 2015, the growth rate was 4.9 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars.

source: Art.gov

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The official portraits of former United States President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama were unveiled at an emotional and historic ceremony at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. on Monday morning.

The stunning depiction of President Obama, by artist Kehinde Wiley, and of his wife, by Amy Sherald, drew gasps and applause as each subject and artist together removed the black veils covering the portraits for a dramatic reveal.

Both Wiley and Sherald faced an unprecedented and monumental task: to capture the first African Americans elected to serve as president and first lady in a building built by slaves. But neither artists’ brush failed under the weight of history. The portraits are deft, thoughtful comments on race and representation in America that also provide an intimate encounter with the psyche of their individual subjects

Source: Artsy

Jeff Bezos had a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving weekend. After record-breaking weekend sales, Amazon’s stock price hit an all-time high of $1,213.41 a share on Monday. That pushed Bezos’ net worth to over $100 billion, which is up 35% from the same period last year, according to Bloomberg.

Thanks to that recent surge, Bezos has once again passed Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates as the richest person in the world.

Source: BusinessInsider

After 19 minutes of dueling, with four bidders on the telephone and one in the room, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” sold on Wednesday night for $450.3 million with fees, shattering the high for any work of art sold at auction. It far surpassed Picasso’s “Women of Algiers,” which fetched $179.4 million at Christie’s in May 2015. The buyer was not immediately disclosed. The painting was dismissed as a copy and sold for only $60 in 1958, acquired by a group of art dealers for $10,000 in 2005 and finally after being completely restored and authenticated as an Original Da Vinci, sold for $450.3 million.

Source: NY Times

Retired NBA player Al Harrington takes us behind the doors of his cannabis extract company, then sits down with former NBA commissioner David Stern to discuss marijuana reformation for medical purposes within the league.

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1. Diddy ($130 million)

2. Drake ($94 million)

3. Jay-Z ($42 million)

4. Dr. Dre ($34.5 million)

5. Chance the Rapper ($32 million)

6. Kendrick Lamar ($30 million)

7. Wiz Khalifa ($28 million)

8. Pitbull ($27 million)

9. DJ Khaled ($24 million)

10. Future ($23 million)

11. Kanye West ($22 million)

12. Birdman ($20 million)

13. J. Cole ($19 million)

14. Swizz Beatz ($17 million)

15. Snoop Dogg ($16.5 million)

16. Nicki Minaj ($16 million)

17. Lil Wayne ($15.5 million)

18. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ($11.5 million, tie)

18. Rick Ross ($11.5 million, tie)

20. Lil Yachty ($11 million)

source: Forbes

A painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat from the collection of Yoko Ono is heading to auction.

The work, titled “Cabra,” may sell for as much as $12 million at Sotheby’s contemporary art sale in New York on Nov. 16, the auction house said Thursday.

Cabra by Basquiat

Source: Sotheby’s

Basquiat, who died at the age of 27 in 1988, is breaking records in the art world. In May, one of his paintings fetched $110.5 million at Sotheby’s, the highest price for any American artist at auction. A 1982 Basquiat canvas depicting boxer Sugar Ray Robinson sold for about $24 million last year.

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