W-S Arts Council joins national study

W-S Arts Council joins national study
May 05
05:00 2016


The Arts Mean Business.” This is the message being delivered by The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, who announced it has joined the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, a national study measuring the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences. The study is being conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s nonprofit organization advancing the arts and arts education. It is the fifth study over the past 20 years to measure the impact of arts spending on local jobs, income paid to local residents, and revenue generated to local and state governments.

As one of nearly 300 study partners across all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, The Arts Council will collect detailed financial data about local nonprofit arts and culture organizations such as our theaters, symphonies, opera, dance companies, museums, festivals, and visual arts organizations.

Surveys will be collected throughout calendar year 2016. The results of the study will be released in June 2017.

“Many people don’t think of nonprofit arts organizations as businesses,” said Rick Moss, Chief Financial Officer, Hanes brands and Arts Council Board Chair, “but this study will make clear that the arts are a formidable industry in our community—employing people locally, purchasing goods and services from local merchants, and helping to drive tourism and economic development.”

The Arts Council will also collect surveys from attendees at arts events using a short, anonymous questionnaire that asks how much money they spent on items such as meals, parking and transportation, and retail shopping specifically as a result of attending the event.

Previous studies have shown that the average attendee spends $24.60 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission. Those studies have also shown that, on average, 31 percent of arts attendees travel from outside the county in which the arts event took place, and that those cultural tourists typically spend nearly $50 per person.

According to the most recent study, the Forsyth County nonprofit arts industry generated $136.6 million in total economic activity and supported 4,769 full-time equivalent jobs during 2010.  The $136.6 million total included $70.6 million in spending by arts organizations and $65.9 million in event-related spending by their audiences on items such as meals, local transportation and overnight lodging.

Complete details about the fiscal year 2010 study are available at www.AmericansForTheArt

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