Nonprofit Arts: An Economic Engine for LA

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 8:47am

Americans for the Arts logo

Last month, Americans for the Arts released the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study, which shows Los Angeles’s nonprofit arts community supports 37,000 jobs and generates $1.38 billion of activity in the local economy.

The Arts & Economic Prosperity study, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind, reinforces the nonprofit arts sector's role as an economic engine, generating and investing billions of dollars into the national and local economies.

This year’s report is the fourth economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences. Conducted in 2010, the study included data collected from 182 regions, representing all fifty states and the District of Columbia.

Nationally, nonprofit arts are responsible for the following:

  • $135.2 billion of economic activity—$61.1 billion by nonprofit arts in addition to $74.1 billion in event-related expenditures by their audiences.
  • 4.13 million full-time jobs supported by nonprofit arts’ economic activity.
  • $86.68 billion in resident household income.
  • $22.3 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments every year.

The authors state that the economic “yields go well beyond their collective $4 billion in arts allocations.”

In the City of Los Angeles, nonprofit arts organizations distributed $1.1 billion in resident household income. In turn, these organizations and workers also generated over $138.2 million in revenue to local and state governments.

Arts organizations contribute greatly to the economic vitality of their communities, drawing customers to a community and sharing them with nearby small businesses.  $74.1 billion were spent by audiences throughout the nation as part of their attendance at arts and cultural events—expenditures ranging from parking fees and dinner costs to paying the neighborhood babysitter. “An average arts attendee spends $24.60 per event, not including the cost of admission.”

Despite the severe economic downturn, there continues to be a demand for arts and culture. The arts industry is “not only resilient in times of economic uncertainty, but is also a key component to our nation's economic recovery and future prosperity.”