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Study: Arts, culture are economic drivers in Indiana, US

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Monday, October 23, 2023   

The nonprofit Americans for the Arts just released a study on the economic impact of arts and culture on communities, including in Indiana.

Among the 300 cities in 50 states and Puerto Rico surveyed are the collective arts organizations within The Arts Council of Indianapolis, Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne and the City of Carmel.

Miah Michaelsen, executive director of the Indiana Arts Commission, said the economic impact the arts have in their respective communities is undeniable.

"They are outpacing peer cities of their size by a considerable amount," Michaelsen asserted. "I think the arts and creative sector provides a great pathway for conscious effort and investment related to driving economic growth in the state."

The 2022 study found in Indianapolis alone, the economic impact of the arts totaled almost $524 million. Michaelsen predicted the creative economy will grow in the next 20 to 30 years, and noted states eyeing economic growth are paying attention.

The report also tracked the additional dollars people spend for a day or evening at a cultural event, and their impact on local businesses. Restaurant meals, paying for sitters, using a ride-sharing service or shopping amounted to an average of almost $40 per person, per event, not including the event admission.

Michaelsen argued a local business with a rich and vibrant creative community cannot help but benefit economically.

"The ripple effect from arts and cultural vendors is far more extensive than even, say, folks who come into town for sporting events," Michaelsen pointed out. "Arts and cultural visitors spend more per person than pretty much any other kind of visitor in a community."

The report showed nationally, arts and culture generated almost $152 billion in economic activity last year, and arts organizations spent nearly $74 billion, and supported nearly 3 million jobs.

For the first time, the survey included events presented, produced, or hosted by African, Latino, Asian, Arab and Native American organizations.


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