At the Arts and Science Council (ASC) we combine individual and corporate gifts with local government funding to make art, science and history experiences available across Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The support of our donors – public and private – ensures that performances, exhibitions, educational programs and festivals happen every day. But your investment has another big return – one that impacts our local economy far beyond what you might think.
For the first time, ASC and the Charlotte Regional Partnership joined forces to look at the impact of the 16-county greater Charlotte region’s nonprofit arts and culture industry, because our future economic growth and quality of life is dependent on our working together regionally. The results are impressive! Our region’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $360 million in annual economic activity in the greater Charlotte-Mecklenburg region – supporting 11,186 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $31.5 million in local and state government revenues, according to the ‘Arts & Economic Prosperity 5’ national economic impact study.
According to the new study, nonprofit local arts and culture organizations across the region spent over $179 million during fiscal year 2015. In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit arts and culture industry leverages over $180 million in event-related spending by its audiences. When 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. Those dollars, in turn, generated $259 million in household income for area residents.
These findings validate what has been ASC and the local cultural sector’s message for years – investment in arts, science and history not only builds community, strengthens education and entertains us but leads to more jobs, more visitors, and, as a result, more government revenue. Our cultural sector is integral to the economy and vitality of our 16-county region.
We also looked and found that 58,000 people are employed in creative jobs in the 16-county region. These are both for-profit and non-profit jobs that the U.S. Department of Labor classifies as creative, such as photographers, designers, librarians, actors, musicians, filmmakers, potters, brew masters and writers. They provide a great talent base for the companies that want to move to or grow in this region. More importantly, they bring the skills vital to our future – the ability to see the world in new ways and find new solutions.
These results send a clear message to business and civic leaders who care about this region and its economic prosperity: Investing in the cultural community means supporting an industry that positively contributes to the economic health of our region, helps attract and retain top talent in a competitive job market, and ensures that today’s students are prepared to be tomorrow’s workforce.
Nationwide, ‘Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 report reveals that the nonprofit arts industry produced $166.3 billion in economic activity during 2015. This spending – $63.8 billion by nonprofit arts and culture organizations plus an additional $102.5 billion by their audiences – supported 4.6 million full-time equivalent jobs and generated $27.5 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues.
The full regional results are available here.