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Arts & Economic Prosperity IV

Key Message

Nonprofit arts and culture organizations in the US drive a $135.2 billion industry that supports 4.1 million full-time equivalent jobs and generates $22.3 billion in government revenue annually.


Americans for the Arts. (2012). Arts & Economic Prosperity IV: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations and Their Audiences. Washington, DC: Americans for the Arts. 378 pp.


Arts & Economic Prosperity IV is our fourth study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry’s impact on the economy. The most comprehensive study of its kind ever conducted, it features customized findings on 182 study regions representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia as well as estimates of economic impact nationally.


Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $135.2 billion in economic activity every year—$61.1 billion in spending by organizations and an additional $74.1 billion in event-related spending by their audiences. The impact of this activity is significant; these dollars support 4.1 million U.S. jobs and generate $22.3 billion in government revenue. 

Arts and culture organizations—businesses in their own right—leverage significant event-related spending by their audiences that pumps vital revenue into restaurants, hotels, retail stores, parking garages, and other local merchants.

This study puts to rest a common misconception that communities support arts and culture at the expense of
local economic development. In fact, communities are investing in an industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism. This report shows conclusively that, locally as well as nationally, the arts mean business.

Benefit Statements / Outcomes

Leadership Provided By:

  • Leisure Information Network (LIN)
  • Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

On Behalf Of:

  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRAA)

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