The Arts Mean Business

Did you know that the non-profit arts industry in New Jersey generates over $1.5 billion each year?  This total includes direct spending by arts organizations (payroll, goods and services) and related  spending by visitors to cultural events (meals, lodging, parking).  Combined, this activity also generates over $40 million each year in state income and sales taxes.

Nationally, the industry generated $135.2 billion of economic activity—$61.1 billion by the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations in addition to $74.1 billion in event-related expenditures by their audiences (Americans for the Arts, Arts & Economic Prosperity IV).  Nationally, there are 905,689 businesses in the United States involved in the creation or distribution of the arts that employ 3.35 million people which represents 4.42 percent of all businesses and 2.15 percent of all employees (Americans for the Arts, Creative Industries Report, 2012). 

Why is all of this important?  When making the case for public support of non-profit arts, it is vital that decision makers are aware that The Arts Mean Business driving local economies and spurring economic development in municipalities throughout our state and nation.  The arts can assist states with economic growth because they can:

  1. Provide a fast-growth, dynamic industry cluster;
  2. Help mature industries become more competitive;
  3. Provide the critical ingredients for innovative places;
  4. Catalyze community revitalization; and
  5. Deliver a better –prepared workforce. (National Governors Assoc., 2012)

For more information on economic activity of the non-profit arts in New Jersey, download the ArtPride NJ Foundation’s pdf .

For more information on economic activity of the arts in the US, visit Americans for the Arts Economic Prosperity IV study.

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