Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 Study Centers Equity in Economic Research and Highlights Vital Role of Arts and Culture in Building More Livable Communities
The Greater Augusta Arts Council announced that Richmond County’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $24,646,130 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–$11 million in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and $12.5 million in event-related spending by their audiences supported 523 jobs and generated $27million 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.
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.
On Thursday, November 9th, Dr. Genna Styles-Lyas, Director of AEP6 Community Engagement & Equity Americans for the Arts in Washington, DC was the featured speaker at the Greater Augusta Arts Council’s Annual Arts Day Luncheon. Dr. Styles discussed the importance and impact of the Arts for communities as well as the role Arts plays in Economic Impact. 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.
The AEP6 study was conducted in 373 diverse communities and regions across the country, representing all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The Greater Augusta Arts Council joined the study on behalf of Richmond County.
Nationally, detailed information was collected from 16,399 nonprofit arts and culture organizations about their FY2022 arts community expenditures, as well as their event attendance, in-kind contributions, and volunteerism. Surveys were collected from February through July 2023. Response rates for the 373 surveyed communities averaged 43.9% and ranged from 5% to 100%. In Richmond County, 39 of the 52 total eligible nonprofit arts and culture organizations identified by the Greater Augusta Arts Council provided the financial and attendance information required for the study analysis—an overall participation rate of 75.0%.
Audience-intercept surveying was conducted to measure event-related spending by audiences. Nationally, a total of 224,677 attendees completed the survey. In Richmond County, a total of 787 valid audience-intercept surveys were collected from attendees to nonprofit arts and culture performances, events, exhibits, and special events during the period from May 2022 through June 2023. To complete an analysis for Richmond County, researchers used the IMPLAN platform to build a customized input-output model based on the unique economic and industrial characteristics of Richmond County.
“The Greater Augusta Arts Council is proud to join the 373 diverse communities in the AEP6 Community Surveys,” said Greater Augusta Arts Council Executive Director Brenda Durant. “We all know we live in a culturally rich community. Many of us did not realize our artistic community is responsible for $27 million in local, state and federal government revenue. So, put on your dancing shoes and show the world that Art means Economic Development!”
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.
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.