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Dallas' Arts Committee to Hear About Its Arts Economy

by Jerome Weeks 18 Jun 2012 11:51 AM

Useful stats! Americans for the Arts reportedly conducted the most comprehensive study of the economic impact of nonprofit arts in all 50 states. Now we hear about Dallas’ own slice of that pie chart.


Today at 3 p.m., the Dallas City Council’s committee on Arts,  Culture & Libraries will be briefed on the results of the Americans for the Arts‘ 2010 study on the economic impact of the nonprofit arts & culture industry. This is the fourth such study — the first to reflect the full brunt of the recession — and its complete results were presented last week in San Antonio at the group’s national conference. Nationally, expenditures were 3 percent below their 2005 levels — meaning that many of our mid-decade gains were wiped out but also that the nonprofit culture sector remained resilient. Some people, after all, had predicted declines in the 30-50 percent range, with as many as half of all arts organizations going bye-bye.

You can read about my reservations concerning such arts economic impact studies here. But they can provide effective sound bites. Some quick-hit stats you can memorize and use in your next Friday-night, drunken argument in a bar over funding for the arts (we’ve all had those, right?):

  • Nationwide impact of nonprofit arts & culture industry: $135.3 billion
  • Number of jobs supports nationally: 4.1 million
  • Amount Dallas arts & cultural organizations spent: $165.4 million
  • Amount their audiences spent: $156.6 million
  • Percentage of out-of-town visitors who attended arts event and said it was the main reason for their visit here: 58.9 percent
  • How much they spent per event — $45.56 — compared to $18.82 by residents
  • Number of full-time (equivalent) jobs in Dallas’ nonprofit arts & culture sector: 11,227

Full briefing PDF package here: ACL_AmericansforArtsStudy_061812