Survey studies arts and culture

The Arts Mean Business. That is the message being delivered today by the Arts & Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville, 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.

In Greater Knoxville, the research study is being conducted by Americans for the Arts (AFTA), the nation’s nonprofit organization advancing the arts and arts education in partnership with the Arts & Culture Alliance and the Tennessee Arts Commission, the state’s arts agency. This is the fifth national study over the past 20 years to measure the impact of arts and culture spending on local jobs, income paid to local residents, and revenue generated to local and state governments. This will be the Alliance’s first time to participate.

As one of nearly 300 study partners across all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, the Alliance will collect economic impact data from local nonprofits that offer arts and culture programming both formal and informal. “This study will show how nonprofit arts and culture are an important industry in our community—employing people locally, purchasing goods and services from local merchants, and helping to drive tourism and economic development,” said Liza Zenni, Executive Director of the Arts & Culture Alliance.

The Alliance will also collect surveys from attendees at arts and cultural events. Previous national 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, 32 percent of arts attendees travel from outside the county in which the arts event took place, and that those cultural tourists typically spend nearly $40 per person—generating important revenue for local businesses and demonstrating how the arts drive revenue for other businesses in the community.

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