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October 13, 2023

Study: Arts, culture industry had $151.7B economic impact on U.S. in 2022

STEVEN LASCHEVER PHOTOGRAPHY The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, above, has been a staple in Hartford's theater scene since 1930.

Americans for the Arts, a Washington, D.C.-based research and advocacy group, has released its Arts and Economic Prosperity 6 Study, which shows the impact of arts on the economy.

The report, released Thursday, shows the nonprofit arts and culture industry contributed $151.7 billion in economic activity to the United States in 2022.

Of the $151.7 billion, $73.3 billion was spent by arts-related organizations, leading to an additional $78.4 billion in event-related spending by audiences.

That economic activity supported 2.6 million jobs and generated $29.1 billion in tax revenue, according to the report.

“The data from the (study) is a powerful validation that arts and culture are an economic driver at the community level,” said Nolen Bivens, president of Americans for the Arts. “Yet, the study also highlights the arts’ indispensable contribution to social and community development.”

This year, Americans for the Arts updated its methodology to emphasize the inclusion and participation of organizations serving or representing minority communities.

The study also looked at people’s attitudes toward arts and culture. It found that 86% of Americans said arts and culture are “important to their community’s quality of life and livability,” and 79% believed that arts and culture are “important to their community’s businesses, economy and local jobs.” 

The findings also show that the arts played a crucial role in social healing and economic recovery following COVID-19.

“Music and the arts are the foundation of vibrant communities and help us connect, understand and inspire one another — all while driving economic growth, creating rewarding jobs and careers, and powering our culture forward,” said Mitch Glazier, chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, one of Americans for the Arts’ partner organizations.

The study, conducted over 18 months, surveyed more than 224,000 audience members and 16,400 arts and culture organizations in 373 diverse communities across all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

In Connecticut, arts and culture accounted for $10.1 billion, or 3.4% of the state’s economy, contributing 53,011 jobs, according to 2021 data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In comparison, the retail industry accounted for $16.1 billion of the state’s economy, and construction accounted for $7.8 billion.

Prior to this year, the most recent version of the report was the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Study, released in 2017.

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