Tacoma’s Arts & Economic Prosperity study results are in!

20 Jun

In 2016, the City of Tacoma’s Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality worked with Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, in conducting a national study of the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry. The study, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, involved the collection and analysis of organization and audience surveys. In the City of Tacoma, 66 of the 118 eligible nonprofit arts and cultural organizations participated in this study. In addition, a total of 1,124 valid audience-intercept surveys were collected from attendees to nonprofit arts and cultural performances, events, and exhibitions during 2016.

On June 17, Americans for the Arts officially released the national and local findings of the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study and the findings are overwhelmingly positive. The study shows that Tacoma’s non-profit arts and culture industry generates $137.2 million in total economic activity every year! This spending$74.6 million by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and an additional $62.6 million in event-related spending by their audiences (not including cost of event admission)—supports 3,656 full-time equivalent jobs, generates $86 million in household income to local residents, and delivers $14 million in local and state government revenue. This economic impact study sends a strong signal that when we support the arts, we not only enhance our quality of life, but we also invest in the City of Tacoma’s economic well-being.

“Arts and culture are embedded in Tacoma’s identity and have elevated us on an international stage,” said Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “We are encouraged by these results, and will continue to leverage these strengths to make Tacoma an even more attractive, prosperous and vibrant destination city.”

“Tacoma’s nonprofit arts and cultural organizations are integral to our commercial ecosystem,” said Arts Administrator Amy McBride. “They directly support a wide array of occupations spanning many industries.”

Nationally, the nonprofit arts industry generates $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 audiences. This activity supports 4.6 million jobs and generates $27.5 billion in revenue to local, state and federal governments.

“This study demonstrates that the arts are an economic and employment powerhouse both locally and across the nation,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and chief executive officer of Americans for the Arts. “A vibrant arts and culture industry helps local businesses thrive and 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 City of Tacoma’s Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality is very pleased to present the full study findings to you; we hope that you will find this data to be useful in your own advocacy work. All information can be found at www.cityoftacoma.org/aep or you can access the findings by following the links below.

Tacoma Study Results

Click here to see a summary of the Tacoma study results (PDF)

Click here to see the full Tacoma study results (PDF)

National Study Results

Click here to see a summary of the National study results (PDF)

Click here to see the full National study results (PDF)

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