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Nevada to participate in national survey to study economic impact of community arts spending

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Feb. 8, 2016

The Nevada Arts Council will participate in a national research study, known as Arts & Economic Prosperity® 5, to measure the economic impact of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences.

The study is being conducted by Americans for the Arts, the leading nonprofit arts organization for advancing the arts in the United States. The Council is one of nearly 300 study partners across the U.S. that will help with gathering detailed financial and event attendance data from nonprofit arts and cultural organizations during 2016.

The NAC will be working with a network of organizations and individuals to ensure the study includes data from Nevada’s urban neighborhoods and rural communities. Reno’s Arts and Cultural Division, also a survey partner, will be collecting surveys in the city of Reno. Results will be released in June of 2017.

“We are honored to be part of this national initiative, and to work closely with our colleagues in Reno and those across the country,” said Susan Boskoff, NAC executive director. “I know that our customized findings will demonstrate clearly that the arts are considered a renewable source of pride and energy for the Silver State.”

The study will be presented in the summer of 2017. Specifically, the study’s results will include: the total dollars spent by nonprofit arts and culture organizations; the total dollars spent by audiences as a direct result of their attendance at arts and culture events; the number of full-time equivalent jobs supported by arts spending; the amount of resident, household income — including salaries and wages — generated by arts spending; and the amount of local and state government tax revenues generated by arts spending.

The 2016 survey is the fifth national 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. It was last done in 2010, near the end of the Great Recession.  The new study will demonstrate how the arts have fared since then.

“Our Arts & Economic Prosperity series 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. “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.”

Participating communities represent all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Study partners will collect detailed financial information from their local nonprofit arts and culture organizations, such as local theater and dance companies, museums, galleries, and arts education organizations. Study partners will also collect information from attendees at arts events using a short, anonymous questionnaire that asks how much they spent on items such as meals, parking and transportation, souvenirs, retail shopping and overnight lodging as a direct result of attending the event. Data will be used to examine the important role that the nonprofit arts industry plays in attracting tourists to communities.

According to AEP4 in 2010, the nonprofit arts industry generated $135.2 billion in economic activity and supported 4.1 million full-time equivalent jobs during 2010, resulting in $22.3 billion in federal, state and local government revenues. The $135.2 billion total included $61.1 billion in spending by arts and culture organizations and an additional $74.1 billion in event-related spending by their audiences.

The report said the typical attendee to a nonprofit arts event spent $24.60 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on meals, transportation, babysitting and other event-related spending. Some 32 percent of all arts attendees lived outside of the county in which the arts event took place—a finding based on a survey sample of 152,000 arts attendees.

Information is available from NAC at (775) 687-6680 or email