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ArtsBoston report finds arts and culture bring $1.4 billion to local economy

ArtsBoston report finds arts and culture bring $1.4 billion to local economy

The Arts Factor 2014 Report, released today by ArtsBoston, offers new research that details how the region’s nonprofit arts and cultural sector builds stronger communities and strengthens the local economy. The report highlights that arts and culture pump $1.4 billion into the local economy through both direct spending by cultural organizations and incremental spending by audiences beyond the cost of admission. In addition, the report, which was sponsored by  Bank of America, marks total attendance to arts and cultural events at more than 18 million people annually, more than four times the total attendance for Boston’s four major professional sports teams combined.

“This report is a major milestone for ArtsBoston and the cultural community we serve,” said Catherine Peterson, Executive Director of ArtsBoston. “We have always known anecdotally that the arts sector brings incredible value to this region. The Arts Factor, with this inaugural report, gives us the hard numbers to illuminate that point not just in terms of quality of life, but also economic impact, workforce retention, innovation, education, and community development. It strengthens the case for the importance of investment in our arts and cultural organizations and their work.”

“It’s long been known that the arts have an enormous impact on the Boston-area economy, and this report  highlights just how vital this sector truly is,” said Bob Gallery, Bank of America Massachusetts President. “While we’re known for our world-class health care, education, and technology sectors, I’m convinced that our robust cultural offerings are an equally important part of what makes our region unique for residents and visitors alike.”

Key Report Findings

·         With nearly 26,000 jobs and an infusion of $1 billion into the local economy annually, arts and culture drive economic vitalitywith arts  attendees spending an additional $450 million beyond their admission price, supporting local businesses including  restaurants, parking, child care and souvenirs.

·         More than 18 million people attended the arts annually,which is more than four times the total attendance for the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, Boston Bruins, and Boston Celtics combined.

·         Arts and culture fuels innovation by helping CEOs across industries – from  health care to biotechnology – attract and retain dynamic, smart, and creative knowledge workers.

·         Greater Boston has more nonprofit arts and cultural  organizations per capita than any other U.S. metro area, with 50 organizations for every 100,000 residents. Arts and culture are central to Greater Boston’s identity, and the region is a cultural capital.

·         One would have to attend 98 arts events a day to experience every cultural event offered in the region in a year.

·         Accessibility of arts and cultural experiences transforms entire communities. The sector provides 25,000 school-based programs annually, offering a critical supplement to the work that schools offer directly.

·         In addition, the arts are affordable, presenting free performances and events that are enjoyed by 7.7 million people annually, with a median cost of paid admission of $16.

·         Arts and cultural groups in the nonprofit sector heavily subsidize the cost of attendance, with ticket prices covering only 30% of the total cost of production.

Report Methodology

The data used for The Arts Factor 2014 Report are drawn primarily from the Massachusetts Cultural Data Project (CDP), part of a national effort to collect and use data to strengthen arts and cultural organizations. This is the first major public research to emerge from the Massachusetts CDP, which is a collaborative effort among public and private funders, including the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Barr Foundation, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, The Boston Foundation, Greater Worcester Community Foundation, and Linde Family Foundation.

The publication and infographics are available online at  www.artsboston.org/artsfactor and printed copies are available upon request.

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