The arts are an economic driver in communities that embrace the arts. Hillsborough County is such a community. This was revealed in the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) Study. In partnership with national nonprofit Americans for the Arts, the Hillsborough County Arts Council has released the findings for the local results of the Arts & Economic Prosperity Study.
The study was presented by Randy Cohen, vice president of research at American for the Arts, on October 18 at the Tampa Theatre. Dozens of residents and arts stakeholders attended the event including David Cox of the Gasparilla Music Foundation.
Cox said, “I think the presentation was very enlightening, and it was great to have such a respected economist as Randy Cohen in Tampa to present the findings.”
He added, “The Gasparilla Music Foundation was founded in 2011 (at the tail end of the Great Recession) with the premise that the arts can be a vital economic engine and are critical for making the county a more desirable place to live. It was very rewarding for our efforts to be validated by this very comprehensive study.”
The study measures the economic and social impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences. The main takeaways from the study include the total arts industry spending, the impact of that spending by arts organizations and their audiences and event-related spending by audiences.
The results from the study include the following topics and economic impacts: Total industry expenditures for fiscal year 2022 were $387,463,290. Personal income paid to residents working in the arts was $260,142,550. Local tax revenue, including city and county, was $11,242,603. Total event-related expenditures were $234,390,974.
The results put the role of the arts in Hillsborough County as an economic driver into perspective. The $53.68 per person per event spent is 40 percent higher than the national average of $38.46 and helps show that arts and culture drive commerce to local businesses. Additionally, the arts create livable communities and are crucial for the local economy, jobs and businesses.
The full results of the study can be found by visiting www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/media-center/press-releases/2023/10/18/new-study-arts-is-a-strong-local-industry-that-creates-jobs-and-boosts-the-economy.