Economic Impact of Funding Cuts in Arts and Culture

As we reported in our post called Proposed Cuts in Texas State Aid Impact Small Groups in the Arts, Governor Perry’s plan would entirely eliminate funding to four agencies, including the Texas Commission on the Arts. In that piece we reiterate the Dallas Area Arts Group concern about the impact that the proposed cuts would have on smaller groups. Arts organizations are currently struggling with slower ticket sales, lower contributions and declining endowment income.

Although we recognize that museums do not have a primary purpose of generating economic growth, there has been a study done that can demonstrate positive direct and indirect effects on the economic health of a museum’s or cultural center’s surrounding communities.

Americans for the Arts performed a national study called Arts & Economic Prosperity III. The Americans for the Arts are a leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. This study demonstrates that the nonprofit arts and culture industry is an economic driver in communities—a growth industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism.

According to Americans for the Arts, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity every year nationally—$63.1 billion in spending by organizations and an additional $103.1 billion in event-related spending by their audiences.

The $166.2 billion in total economic activity has a significant national impact, states Americans for the Arts, generating the following:

  • 5.7 million full-time equivalent jobs
  • $104.2 billion in household income
  • $7.9 billion in local government tax revenues
  • $9.1 billion in state government tax revenues
  • $12.6 billion in federal income tax revenues

Studies such as these are important to cite statistics that demonstrate the impact of the nation’s nonprofit arts industry on the local, state, and national economy.

Come visit the International Museum of Cultures during your next visit to the Dallas area. You will come away with a much better understanding of our world’s diverse cultures, as well as, a fond memory of your visit.

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