As Connecticut’s leaders debated the fate of the state’s budget, the Connecticut Arts Alliance drew attention to recently released economic impact data. According to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study, conducted by Americans for the Arts, Connecticut’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $797.3 million in annual economic activity in the state, supporting over 23,000 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $72.3 million in local and state government revenues. The most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.
Results show that nonprofit arts and culture organizations in Connecticut spent over $515 million during 2015. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services, and acquire assets within their community. Those dollars, in turn, generated nearly $525 million in household income for local residents and $72.3 million in local and state government revenues.
“Arts and culture is an economic engine that clearly provides ‘food on the table’ for many who work in the sector and those who work in the many industries that are supported by the sector,” stated Amy Wynn, president of the Connecticut Arts Alliance, the state-wide arts advocacy organization for Connecticut. “The data proves that our sector provides a solid return on investment as far as state arts funding, resulting in state and local revenues that are so important to Connecticut now and in the future. The arts sector is an accessible and cost-effective asset that connects, collaborates and impacts other sectors such as healthcare, public safety, education, social services, innovation in business, manufacturing and science, and much more,” she added.
“The arts are a fundamental component of a thriving economy. From a numbers perspective the arts generate jobs, cultural tourism, and economic impact. Less quantifiable but equally as valuable: art helps to create community identity and vibrancy, and is critical to attracting and retaining an innovative workforce,” said Kristina Newman-Scott, Director of Culture of Connecticut Office of the Arts, Department of Economic and Community Development. “I believe we have an enormous responsibility to the creators and consumers in the state to protect the legacy of the arts in Connecticut and help foster growth in the creative economy,” she added.
Arts Industry Boon for Local Businesses
In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit arts and culture industry nationally leverages $102.5 billion in event-related spending by local and out-of-state audiences. As a result of attending a cultural event, attendees often eat dinner in local restaurants, pay for parking, buy gifts and souvenirs, and pay a babysitter. What’s more, attendees from out-of-town often stay overnight in a local hotel. Nationally, event attendees spend an average of $31.47 on event-related expenses, and that does not include the price of a ticket. In Connecticut, the figure is $27.70 per event attendee, with residents spending $23.78 on average and visitors spending 53% more than residents – $49.78 per event attendee. In Connecticut, 69% of visitors come for arts and cultural offerings.
Economic Impact One-Page Summaries
- State of Connecticut: PDF
- Middlesex County: PDF
- Southeastern Connecticut: PDF
- Fairfield County: PDF
- Northwest Connecticut Region: PDF
- Greater New Haven County: PDF
The National Picture
- Nationwide, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 reveals that the nonprofit arts industry produces $166.3 billion in economic activity
- in 2015, resulting in $27.5 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues. In addition, it supports 4.6 million full-time equivalent jobs and generates $96.07 billion in household income.
- “This study demonstrates that the arts are an economic and employment powerhouse both locally and across the nation,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “A vibrant arts and culture industry helps local businesses thrive and helps local communities become stronger and healthier places to live. Leaders who care about community and economic vitality can feel good about choosing to invest in the arts. Nationally as well as locally, the arts mean business.”
- The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study was conducted by Americans for the Arts and supported by The Ruth Lilly Fund of Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts’ local, regional, and statewide project partners contributed both time and financial support to the study. Financial information from organizations was collected in partnership with DataArts™, using a new online survey interface. For a full list of the communities who participated in the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study, visit www.AmericansForTheArts.org/AEP5Partners.