Thursday, July 6, 2017

Arts and Culture Brings Dollars to Wichita

Every five years an organization known as Americans for the Arts commissions a study to be conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology. This study is intended to evaluate the economic impact of nonprofit arts and cultural institutions across the United States and in specific markets, including Wichita, KS. The Arts and Economic Prosperity Study 5 - the most recent - has been completed and the numbers are quite impressive for Wichita. But before we get into those results, a bit about the study for those who might be skeptical.

Again, it is independently conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology, a highly respected group of researchers who design the methodology and tabulate the results. The study incorporates data collected from 341 communities and regions (113 cities, 115 counties, 81 multi-city or multi-county regions, and 12 individual arts districts), representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These study areas range in population from 1,500 to four million and are both urban and rural. The study is limited to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and those who attend performances and visit attractions. Detailed information on expenditures was collected from 14,439 organizations and 212,691 of those who attended and/or visited. Data was compiled on a variety of factors, including overall expenditures, full-time equivalent jobs, local and state government revenues and the like. Here are some of the results.

  • Nationally
    • $166.3 billion of economic activity in 2015
      • $63.8 billion by organizations
      • $102.5 billion by their audiences/visitors
    • 4.6 million jobs
    • $27.5 billion in revenue to local, state and federal governments
      • Local, state and federal governments budget about $5 billion for the arts
  • In Wichita
    • Combined spending - organizations and their audiences
      • $94.7 million in total industry expenditures (remember - nonprofit only)
      • 2,841 full-time equivalent jobs
      • $4.9 million in local government revenue
      • $4.5 million in state government revenue
    •  Spending - organizations only
      • $43.9 million total expenditures
      • 1,249 full-time equivalent jobs
      • $37.1 million in resident household income
      • $1.7 million in local government revenue
      • $1.9 million in state government revenue

Of all attendees of performances and visitors to attractions, 77.7% were from Wichita and 23.3% were from outside the community.  The average resident spent $16.69 dollars per attendance/visit and the average non-local spent $36.29.  It should be noted that non-locals spend money not only on their tickets, but might also stay overnight in local hotels, eat meals in our restaurants, buy local gasoline and the like.

We could share much more data, but we'd recommend you take a look for yourself and discover how arts and culture benefits our city, state and country. Remember, there are quality of life issues related to the arts that benefit us greatly: education of our youth, attracting and retaining industry and business professionals, personal enjoyment and more. And...nonprofit arts and cultural organizations - like museums, performance based groups and the like - also make a lot of sense to the economic welfare of our community.  We hope you'll check out the study and learn more about how nonprofit cultural organizations, and this includes the Museum of World Treasures, are good for us all!

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