"And the beat goes on..................."
I. Americans for the Arts released its 5th Arts and Economic Prosperity Study (Economic impact of the arts and their audiences) at their annual conference in San Francisco last week.
Here are the highlights from Randy Cohen's blog on the report: (I hope the chart below shows up - if not go to Randy's blog to view.)
In 2015, the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated:
- $166.3 billion of economic activity—$63.8 billion in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $102.5 billion in event-related expenditures by their audience. The economic impact of this speaks for itself:
- 4.6 million full-time equivalent jobs
- $27.5 billion in federal, state, and local government revenue
- $96.1 billion in household income
NOTE: "Only nonprofit and municipal arts and cultural organizations are included—no for-profit entertainment, like Broadway or motion picture businesses, and no individual artists. Why just nonprofits? Because government and philanthropic dollars are typically directed to these organizations. It is appropriate to ask, “In addition to improving quality of life, what is the economic ROI of that investment?”
4.6 Million Jobs Supported by the Nonprofit Arts
Arts organizations employ builders, web designers, electricians, accountants, printers, and other workers spanning many industries, in addition to artists, curators, musicians, and other arts professionals. Moreover, the AEP5 economic analysis looks at employment beyond those who work for arts organizations. It also captures the jobs supported across the community because of spending by the organizations and their audiences (see the report to get a better understanding of the economic modeling).
$27.5 Billion in Government Revenue
Federal, state, and local governments receive an estimated $27.5 billion in revenue every year because of the economic activity of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences. This is an outstanding yield given that their collective outlay is about $5 billion. (Small Investment. Big return.)
The revenue back to government generated by arts industry expenditures shows that government arts funding is not a one-way street. Rather, there is a benefit of substantial revenue back to government accompanying the public good that these organizations provide—a fact we should keep in mind when discussing current threats to nonprofit organizations, such as limiting the federal charitable tax deduction, with our elected officials.
With the help of study partners, we collected expenditure and attendance data from 14,439 arts and cultural organizations and 212,691 of their attendees to measure total industry spending. Project economists from the Georgia Institute of Technology customized an input-output analysis model for each study region to provide specific and localized economic impact data."
II. Also this week, in The Atlantic's City Lab, Richard Florida cites Bureau of Labor Data on Cultural Employment:
His report also includes data tracking and comparing geographic distribution of cultural industry employment impacts."The data is based on arts and culture employment measured by BEA’s Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA). The account produces statistics for “core” arts and cultural activities such as performers, musicians, writers, artists, designers. Also included are managers, agents, and promoters, plus museums, art galleries, historical sites, and nature parks. Supporting industries such as broadcasters, grant makers, and musical instrument repairers also make the cut.Across the nation, arts and culture industries employed roughly 1 million Americans in 2014. That’s less than 1 percent of all workers. Performing arts and design services accounted for about three-quarters of employment in core arts and cultural production industries. It’s the creation of new work from related industries that makes the arts such a key way to generate economic growth. Take dance, for example: Dancers are core arts employees, but they also generate the need for workers who make ballet slippers, build theaters and rehearsal studios, or print programs are employed in related support industries.All that related work adds up. Arts and cultural economic activity accounted for 4.2 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), or $729.6 billion in 2014, the latest date for which data is available according to the BEA, growing by roughly 2 percent annually."
This is yet more information that may help make the case for the value of the arts whether you are arguing in favor of keeping the NEA or for more local funding. Go to the sites and use the information relative to your purposes. And to those for whom more economic arguments on behalf of the arts miss the point of the real (intrinsic) value of the arts to society - I continue to argue that more arrows in our quiver as we make our case for public value and support aren't necessarily a bad thing.
Have a good week.