Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 Study Centers Equity in Economic Research and Highlights Vital Role of Arts and Culture in Building More Livable Communities
Springfield Cultural Partnership, an AEP6 community participant, announces that Springfield’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $82.4 Million in economic activity in 2022, according to the newly released Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), an economic and social impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts. That economic activity–$53.3 Million in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and $29 Million in event-related spending by their audiences supported 1,483 jobs and generated $15.3 Million in local, state, and federal government revenue. Spending by arts and culture audiences generates valuable commerce to local merchants, a value-add that few other industries can compete with. The full National report and Springfield report are available at https://springfieldculture.org/programs/aep6/.
Building on its 30-year legacy as the largest and most inclusive study of its kind, AEP6 uses a rigorous methodology to document the economic and social contributions of the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry. The study demonstrates locally as well as nationally, arts and culture are a critical economic driver of vibrant communities.
“In addition to being an incredibly positive economic value, arts and culture provide positive community health outcomes, can help mitigate social determinants of health and create healthier communities overall” said Karen Finn, Executive Director, Springfield Cultural Partnership. “The Springfield community responded with a resounding agreement that our city’s cultural venues, activities and arts and cultural assets are important pillars of our community. While the pandemic was crushing to the creative sector, this study reiterates the power of and desire for arts and culture activities to connect, respond to and uplift communities.”
Nationally, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) study reveals that America’s nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $151.7 billion industry—one that supports 2.6 million jobs and generates $29.1 billion in government revenue.
“Arts and culture organizations have a powerful ability to attract and hold dollars in the community longer. They employ people locally, purchase goods and services from nearby businesses, and produce the authentic cultural experiences that are magnets for visitors, tourists, and new residents,” said Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “When we invest in nonprofit arts and culture, we strengthen our economy and build more livable communities.”
AEP6 represents a reset from its previous versions, establishing a new benchmark in the AEP study series.
● Social Impact: For the first time, AEP6 expands beyond the economic and financial data to include social impact measurements of arts and culture’s effect on the well-being of communities and residents.
● Equity and Inclusion: AEP6 broke new ground by prioritizing equity, community engagement, and inclusivity. With the goal of reducing systemic bias, Americans for the Arts transformed its approach and expanded the inclusion and participation of organizations serving or representing BIPOC- (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and ALAANA- (African, Latine, Asian, Arab, Native American) identifying communities.
“Arts & Culture has impacted our economy by creating jobs, tax and small business revenue. Springfield’s creative industries have added value to the landscape of our city and built pride among residents that have been uplifted by public art installations. These enhancements attract tourism and have become beloved spaces in the community” said Vanessa Ford, Program Director of Trust Transfer Project. “Springfield’s Arts & Culture sector has been a gateway to our social and emotional healing by promoting hope, truth and inspiration throughout the community through various art forms to increase our mental wellness and encourage positive change.”
Key figures from Springfield, MA AEP6 study include:
● Springfield, MA nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $29 Million in event-related spending by its audiences.
● The typical attendee spends $31.85 per person per event, not including the cost of admission.
● 20.6% of arts and culture attendees were from outside the county in which the activity took place. They spent an average of $51.83. All vital income for local merchants.
● 92.3% of respondents agreed that the activity or venue they were attending was “a source of neighborhood pride for the community.”
● 87.2% said they would “feel a sense of loss if that activity or venue was no longer available.”
Nationally, extensive research reveals proportional economic and community impacts among attendees at BIPOC and ALAANA organizations to the overall national average. These findings should initiate new, and escalate existing, critical funding conversations about BIPOC and ALAANA organizations receiving fair and proportional financial support.
AEP6 demonstrates the significant economic and social benefits that arts and culture brings to their communities, states, and the nation. To amplify the study results and raise awareness of these widespread benefits with public and private-sector leaders, seventeen national organizations partnered with Americans for the Arts on AEP6:
● Actors’ Equity Association
● African Diaspora Consortium
● Arts & Planning Division (American Planning Association)
● Black Legislative Leaders Network
● Department for Professional Employees
● AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations)
● Destinations International
● International City/County Management Association
● Independent Sector
● National Association of Counties
● National Conference of State Legislatures
● National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations
● National Independent Venue Association
● National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women
● Race Forward
● Recording Industry Association of America
● The Conference Board
● U.S. Conference of Mayors
By measuring arts and culture’s wide-ranging impact, public and private sector leaders can work together to secure funding and arts-friendly policies that shape more vibrant and equitable communities. The full report, a map of the 373 study regions, and a two-page economic impact summary for each, can be found at AEP6.AmericansForTheArts.org. For more information, follow Americans For the Arts @Americans4Arts
Springfield Cultural Partnership (SCP)’s mission is to foster civic engagement and arts education in the City of Springfield by creating and sustaining a vibrant cultural environment, authentically engaging institutions, artists, and the community. SCP connects artists, institutions and audiences to create and celebrate creativity in Springfield. The SCP is a 501c3 founded in 2016 and serves all of Springfield, MA. The SCP is a member based organization with a diverse mix of individuals and organizations, involved at a range of member levels, and all committed to supporting the vitality of our local cultural economy. The SCP also oversees an area of downtown Springfield that has been designated as the Springfield Central Cultural District by the Mass Cultural Council.
The Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 study was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. It was supported by The Ruth Lilly Endowment Fund of Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts’ 297 study partners contributed both time and financial support to the study. For a full list of the communities who participated in the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 study, visit AEP6.AmericansForTheArts.org.