Raleigh’s Nonprofit Arts and Culture Industry Generates $531 Million in Economic Activity

News posted Jun. 21, 2017 - 2:11 pm

The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $531 million in annual economic activity in the City of Raleigh—supporting 18,894 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $53 million in local and state government revenues, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 National Economic Impact Study (AEP5), an economic impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts.

Results show that Raleigh nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent more than $167 million during fiscal year 2015. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services, and acquire assets within their community. Those dollars, in turn, generated $156 million in household income for local residents and $14.7 million in local government revenues.

“Arts and culture have always been essential to the prosperity of Raleigh — they define us as a truly great city. The arts are instrumental in preserving and honoring Raleigh's rich history and identity, in building and enriching community, and in stimulating creativity and innovation, allowing all of our residents to live more fulfilled and inspired lives.” -Gene Davis, Chair of the Raleigh Arts Commission

Nationwide, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 reveals that the nonprofit arts industry produces $166.3 billion in economic activity every year, resulting in $27.5 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues. In addition, it supports 4.6 million full-time equivalent jobs.

“This study 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.”

Arts Industry Boon for Local Businesses: In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit arts and culture industry leverages $364 million 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. In Raleigh, these dollars support 10,837 full-time equivalent jobs and generate $38.6 million in local and state government revenues.

“Here in Raleigh, there is a unique sense of collaboration and interconnectedness between the different arts and cultural groups. From food and hospitality to museums and nonprofit communities, we see ourselves as partners creating, advocating, supporting, participating, and celebrating the arts in all of its forms. Vansana Nolintha, owner Bida Manda

The 2015 Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study was conducted by Americans for the Arts and supported by The Ruth Lilly Fund of Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts’ local, regional, and statewide project partners contributed both time and financial support to the study.

The Office of Raleigh Arts supports and promotes the arts in Raleigh by administering the programs of the Raleigh Arts Commission and the Public Art and Design Board and supporting the Pullen and Sertoma arts centers. The Office of Raleigh Arts is a part of the City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department.

The results of the national study are available on www.americansforthearts.org/aep5

For more information, contact

  • Office of Raleigh Arts, 919-996-3610
  • Sarah Powers, 919-986-9352

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