Additional details about the report can be found on Americans for the Arts' website, at http://www.artsusa.org/EconomicImpact/.
Based on the recent Americans for the Arts report, "Arts and Economic Prosperity: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts Organizations and Their Audiences," this article presents the highlights of the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts industry ever conducted. It is based on surveys of 3,000 nonprofit arts organizations and more than 40,000 attendees at arts events in 91 cities in 33 states, plus the District of Columbia. The authors estimate that the nonprofit arts industry generates $134 billion each year—$53.2 billion in spending by arts organizations and $80.9 billion in spending by audiences—while supporting 4.9 million jobs.
The study's results provide hard facts that public funds allocated to support the arts is money well spent. In challenging economic times, governments—from local to federal—have to make difficult decisions in order to balance their budgets. Unfortunately, the arts are often perceived as a "luxury line-item." Studies like these, the authors contend, aid in advocacy efforts since positive economic-impact figures can resonate more with policymakers than an argument about the intrinsic value of the arts. The study positions the arts as the fuel for an effiicient economic engine, pumping billions of dollars back into their economies. Highlights of the findings are as follows:
The $53.2 billion represents a 45 percent increase (from $36.8 billion) since 1992, when Americans for the Arts last studied spending by arts organizations.
The $80.8 billion in event-related spending by arts audiences reflects an average of $22.87 per person in spending for hotels, restaurants, parking, souvenirs, refreshments, or other similar costs-with non-local attendees spending nearly twice as much as local attendees ($38.05 compared to $21.75).
The $134 billion in total economic activity has a significant national impact, generating the following:
4.85 million full-time equivalent jobs
$89.4 billion in household income
$6.6 billion in local government tax revenues
$7.3 billion in state government tax revenues
$10.5 billion in federal income tax revenues
Defining Economic Impact.
Surveys of Arts Organizations.
Table 1. Population Groupings of Participating Communities.
Surveys of Arts Audiences.
Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts Organizations.
Figure 1: Rounds of spending associated with nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences in San Diego County.
Table 2: Average Expenditure per Organization, by Population Group (Fiscal 2000).
Figure 2: Distribution of average expenditures of 2,988 nonprofit arts organizations (Fiscal 2000).
Table 3: Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts Organizations, Average per Community (by Population Group).
Arts Volunteerism and In-Kind Contributions: An Economic Impact beyond Dollars.
Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts Audiences.
Figure 3: Distribution of in-kind contributions to nonprofit arts organizations.
Table 4: Average Event-Related Spending per Person by Arts Attendees.
Out-of-Towners Spend More.
National Estimates of Economic Impact.
Table 5: Total Audience Spending and Its Economic Impact (Average per Community).
Figure 4: National economic impact of nonprofit arts industry.
Arts & Economic Prosperity: Impact on Public Policy.