Arts a $2.12 billion business in North Carolina

By Todd Cohen

The nonprofit arts industry adds $2.12 billion to North Carolina’s economy, a new study says.

Throughout the state, nonprofit arts and cultural groups support the equivalent of nearly 72,000 full-time jobs, and generate $201.5 million in revenues for local governments and the state, says The Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 Study, which was led by Americans for the Arts and conducted by economists at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Local arts groups throughout the U.S., including United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, ArtsGreensboro, and United Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County,  paid for their communities to participate in the study.

Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and their audiences spent a total of $557 million in Wake County in 2015, $162.2 million in Guilford County, and $156.8 million in Forsyth County.

The nonprofit arts and cultural industry supports the equivalent of 19,873 full-time jobs in  Wake, 5,963 in Guilford, and 5,559 in Forsyth.

In Wake, it accounts for over $167 million in household income for local residents, and generates nearly $15.8 million in revenues for local and state government.

In Forsyth, it generates over $129 million in local household income, and over $14.8 million in local and state tax revenues.

And in Guilford, it generates over $56.3 million in household income and $5.3 million in local and state government revenue.

In Wake, nonprofit arts and culture groups spent over $179 million in fiscal 2015, and stimulated another $378 million in event-related spending by their audiences at restaurants, hotels, retail stories, parking garages and other local businesses.

In Guilford, the industry spent $67 million in fiscal 2015, generating nearly nearly $95.2 million more in local event-related spending by their audiences.

In Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, arts and cultural groups spent nearly $105 million in 2015, generating another $52 million in spending from their audiences.

Throughout the U.S., the study says, nonprofit arts in 2015 spurred $166.3 billion of economic activity, including $63.8 billion in spending by arts and cultural groups, and another $102.5 billion in event-related spending by their audiences.

That activity supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in revenue to local, state and federal governments, compared to those governments’ collective $5 billion in arts allocations, the study says.

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