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Portland Arts Orgs Contribute $49.1M to Economy

The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $49.1 million in annual economic activity in the City of Portland, supports 1,535 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $5.7 million in local and state government revenues, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV national economic impact study. Americans for the Arts conducted the survey in cities across the country in 2011, making it the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States.

According to the study, commissioned by Creative Portland and the Portland Arts and Cultural Alliance (PACA), Portland’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent $26.5 million during fiscal year 2010. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services and acquire assets within their community. Those dollars, in turn, generated $22.6 million in household income for local residents and $2.9 million in local and state government revenues.

“We owe our thanks to the hard work and dedication of the artists and arts and cultural organizations in our city for this remarkable contribution to our economy,” said Andy Graham, Creative Portland president. “In addition, they are working every day to bring more joy and meaning into our daily lives.”

The nonprofit arts and culture industry also leverages $22.6 million in event-related spending by its audiences. As a result of attending a cultural event, attendees often eat dinner in local restaurants, pay for parking, buy gifts and souvenirs, and pay a babysitter. The average spending by an audience member in Portland is $28.25 per event. These dollars support 744 full-time equivalent jobs and generate $2.8 million in local and state government revenues.

Nationally, the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study reveals that the nonprofit arts industry produced $135.2 billion in economic activity during 2010. This spending—$61.1 billion by nonprofit arts and culture organizations plus an additional $74.1 billion by their audiences—supported 4.1 million full-time equivalent jobs and generated $22.3 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues.

“This study shines a much-needed light on the vital role the arts play in stimulating and sustaining economic development,” says Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “Contrary to popular belief, the arts are a bustling industry that supports a plethora of diverse jobs, generates significant revenues for local businesses and to federal, state and local governments and provides quality of life that positions communities to compete in our 21st century creative economy.”

The Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study was conducted by Americans for the Arts and supported by The Ruth Lilly Fund of Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts’ local, regional, and statewide project partners contributed both time and financial support to the study. The full text of the national statistical report is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org/EconomicImpact.

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