Study shows nonprofit arts and culture industry is an economic boon for metro Atlanta region

The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, Fulton County, the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta released findings that prove the nonprofit arts and culture industry is a big business in the Metro Atlanta region. According to the latest Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) study, the nonprofit arts and culture industry annually generates more than half a billion in economic activity, nearly 20,000 full-time equivalent jobs and $56 million in local and state tax revenues.
According to the study, nonprofit arts and culture organizations in Metro Atlanta spent $383 million during fiscal year 2015. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services and acquire assets within their communities. Those dollars, in turn, generated $491 million in household income for local residents.
In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit arts and culture industry in Metro Atlanta leverages $74 billion in event-related spending by its 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.
“Atlanta is experiencing its greatest growth and prosperity in 40 years. Much of this success can be attributed to our commitment to diversity, enhancing quality of life, and our pro-business climate. Along with this success comes the recognition that we must support our cultural community in a manner befitting a booming international city,” said Mayor Kasim Reed.
“The American for the Arts economic study reaffirms the arts’ considerable and necessary contributions to the well-being of communities across greater Atlanta. Arts and culture are powerful tools with which to engage communities,” said Fulton County Chairman John Eaves. “It is important that we continue to support the arts and art culture both on the national and local levels. The arts community plays a major role in Fulton County: employing people locally, purchasing goods and services from local merchants, and driving tourism and economic development. The strength of every society is shown by its facilitation and support of the arts.”
“The fact that four separate metro Atlanta arts organizations collaborated to provide data for this study shows how important arts and culture are to our region,” said Doug Hooker, ARC executive director. “And the numbers speak for themselves. These businesses, galleries and theaters are helping to drive our economy while also improving the quality of life for all of our residents.”
“There’s no question the arts connect communities and contribute to a better quality of life for us and our neighbors,” said Alicia Philipp, president, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. “Our work in the arts builds the capacity of small and midsized arts organizations that are at the root of a thriving arts ecology, showing new work, incubating ideas and debuting talent, all the while serving as a vital part of our region’s economic engine.”


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