According to Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 – a national economic impact study released July 17 by Americans for the Arts– the nonprofit arts and culture sector in New Jersey is a $519.8 million industry, supporting 14,342 full-time equivalent jobs and yielding $41 million in local and state government revenue.
ArtPride worked with Americans for the Arts and five local partners–Cape May, Cumberland, Mercer and Morris counties and the City of Newark–to examine the financial power of N.J.’s cultural community, and results show that state nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent $296.1 million during fiscal year 2015.
This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies and contract for services. Those dollars, in turn, generate $340 million in household income for local residents and $41 million in state and local government revenues. In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit cultural community leverages nearly $224 million in event-related spending by its audiences. Arts attendees often eat dinner in local restaurants, pay for parking, buy gifts and souvenirs and pay a babysitter, and those from out of town often stay overnight in a local hotel.
Nationally, the industry generated $166.3 billion of economic activity—$63.8 billion in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $102.5 billion in event-related expenditures by their audiences. This activity supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in revenue to local, state and federal governments – a yield well beyond their collective $5 billion in arts allocations.
These results are impressive and put to rest a 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. Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 shows conclusively that, locally as well as nationally, the arts mean business!