Arts and Culture One of Region's Largest Employers, Study Shows
Arts Washington, July/August
A new study, Economic Impact of the Arts and Culture in Greater Washington, documents the key role played by the nonprofit arts industry in Greater Washington's regional economy and the cost-benefit of public sector support for the arts. Conducted by Americans for the Arts for the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington, the study is the first of its type for the area. The study covers the arts expenditures for Fiscal Year 2000.
The goal of the study is to provide a
perspective on how the nonprofit arts industry in the Greater Washington
metropolitan area impacts the local economy. Designed for arts supporters,
municipal leaders and cultural leaders, the study helps to make a cogent
and persuasive case for the benefit that the arts bring to the local
Billion Spent by Arts Organizations in Washington, D.C., Area
The report, which included a survey of 292 of the area's cultural organizations, highlights the fact that nonprofit arts organizations in the Washington, DC area spent $1.24 billion in direct expenditures. Of the $1.24 billion, the Smithsonian Institution's expenditures represented $746,900,000.
Arts Community Generates Jobs,
Personal Income, and Tax Revenue
Expenditures by the Greater Washington metropolitan area's nonprofit arts and cultural organizations generate nearly 26,000 full-time local jobs and create nearly $900 million in personal income for residents of the region. Additionally, these expenditures generate $114 million in local government revenues and nearly $5.5 million in state government revenues. This helps validate government expenditures to the arts as an excellent investment. In the Washington, DC area, the nearly 26,000 full-time equivalent jobs created by the arts compares favorably with the Pentagon's 23,000 FTE, and with the region's largest employer, Giant Foods, which employs 27,000 FTE.
1.24 Billion in Expenditures by the Region's nonprofit arts organizations include:
- Salaries: 895,943,000
- Local government revenue:
- State government revenue:
- Full-time equivalent jobs:
Of the 26,000 full-time-equivalent (FTE)
jobs supported by the region's arts industry, 19,323 are supported directly
by the expenditures of the local arts industry. Thus an additional 6,634
FTE jobs are supported in industries outside the arts sector.
The impact of this spending is far reaching:
Arts organizations pay their employees, purchase supplies, contract
services and acquire assets. These actions, in turn, support jobs, create
personal household income, and generate revenue to the local and state
The Arts Enhance Local Economy
and Quality of Life
The Washington, DC region offers its audiences a wide-array of high-level cultural opportunities. Arts patrons can enjoy a broad spectrum of performances at the John F. Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts and visit innovative exhibits at the Smithsonian Institution and other museums. The region is the home of international, national and regional theater companies, opera companies, music organizations, community arts centers, dance ensembles, alternative galleries and performance spaces. The arts have a positive impact not only on the region's quality of life, but also on the entire social and business fabric. Downtown revitalization and historic preservation attracts business investment, reverses urban decay, and revitalizes struggling neighborhoods.
The region's arts organizations also share in the common struggle against the urgent problems of youth-at-risk, crime, homelessness, and unemployment. The arts have established a regular presence in public school programs, in neighborhood development programs, and in efforts to assist the disabled and disadvantaged. When communities invest in the arts, they are not opting for cultural benefits at the expense of economic enrichment. The arts are an economically sound investment.
"This study provides a conservative example of the true impact of the arts in the Greater Washington Region and makes the case for government and private sector support of the arts. Such support is a very strong investment in the region", says Anthony J. Buzzelli, president of the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington's Board of Directors and Central-Atlantic managing partner of Deloitte & Touche.
Survey participants may obtain a complete copy of the Economic Impact Study from their arts council or commission.