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Economic Impact Study Community Conversations

Following the release of the Economic Impact Study of Arts, Cultural & Scientific Organizations in the Central Puget Sound Region in November, ArtsFund has been busy rolling out the findings. In presentations to community leaders, arts organizations, cultural funders, and business leaders, ArtsFund is leveraging the data to frame a bigger conversation about the impact of the arts in economic and community development.

The study speaks to how the arts and cultural sector creates jobs, drives tourism, and brings outside investment to the region. In 2014, the activity of nonprofit cultural organizations and their patrons in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish Counties generated $2.4 billion in the Washington State economy and created 35,376 jobs, $996 million in labor income and $105 million in taxes. Patrons spent nearly $700 million in the 13.4 million visits to cultural organizations in 2014, with a significant percentage of economic impacts stemming from the activity of non-local patrons visiting our region.

ArtsFund has been invited to share the findings in a variety of cross-sector community conversations across the region—the Community Development Roundtable of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Local Arts Agencies and Arts Commissions of King County, the Tacoma Arts Commission and Pierce County Arts Council, the Board of Trustees of the Washington State Arts Commission—with additional presentations throughout the region in the upcoming months.

In early April, ArtsFund will be convening the cultural community to examine the findings and explore how to turn the data into action. Our roster of speakers from the public, private, and cultural sectors will speak on how to leverage information from the Economic Impact Study to effectively advocate for arts policy and funding, expand corporate and community partnerships, and better promote and market this region’s cultural assets.

Media coverage of the Economic Impact Study has included the Seattle Times, the Puget Sound Business Journal, and blog posts for Philanthropy Northwest and Americans for the Arts.

Reach out to Sarah Sidman, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Communications, at sarahsidman@artsfund.org if you want to talk more about data from the Economic Impact Study, or would like further information.

A summary of the study’s findings and full reports are available online at www.artsfund.org/eis.