Arts and Economic Prosperity
This recent economic impact analysis by Americans for the Arts is derived from detailed arts organization and attendee survey data in 91 cities in 34 US states. Input/output tables are used to estimate the economic impact in each of the 91 communities. These results are then used to estimate national economic impact figures.
The national results show that the total impact of the non-profit arts industry is $134 billion, generating nearly 5 million jobs and over $24 billion in government revenues. The government revenues generated by the sector are approximately 8 times the amount spent by governments on the not-for-profit arts.
The attendee surveys show that American arts attendees spend an average of about $23 each – not including admissions – when attending an event. The overall impact of arts attendees is about one-and-a-half times the impact of the arts organizations’ own expenditures. This shows that “the non-profit arts, unlike most industries, leverage significant amounts of event-related spending by their audiences”.
The Americans for the Arts website contains an economic impact calculator to estimate the local economic impact of an arts organization (or group of organizations) based on the organization’s expenditures, the number of event attendees, and the community’s population. The report concludes that “when communities support the arts, they not only enhance the quality of life, they also invest in economic well-being”.