Study Shows Nonprofit Arts Mean Big Business For Atlanta | WABE 90.1 FM

Study Shows Nonprofit Arts Mean Big Business For Atlanta

Aug 8, 2017

Atlanta Regional Commission Executive Director Doug Hooker says the AEP5 study shows nonprofit arts and culture groups provide a significant return on investment for metro Atlanta.
Credit Courtesy of the Atlanta Regional Commission

The group, Americans for the Arts, just released its fifth Arts & Economic Prosperity study, or AEP5. 

It looks at the financial impact of arts and culture groups across the U.S., and it has specific numbers for metro Atlanta.

WABE's Amy Kiley stopped by the Atlanta Regional Commission to learn more. 

She spoke with ARC Executive Director Doug Hooker and ARC Principal Program Specialist for Arts and Culture Josh Phillipson.  

You can click on the audio above to hear their conversation. Her first question was for Phillipson.

Interview Highlights

  • Josh Phillipson is the principal program specialist for arts and culture at the Atlanta Regional Commission.
    Credit Courtesy of the Atlanta Regional Commission
     The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 survey is a national study, but four Atlanta-area bodies came together to contribute numbers for the 10-county metro area.
  • Hooker says, to him, the most important numbers from the survey are the big-picture ones. They show nonprofit arts and culture groups contribute about $720 million a year to the regional economy. They also supply more than 23,000 full-time equivalent jobs. Those numbers do not include the contributions of for-profit groups like the TV and film industries.
  • The survey points out that arts patrons spend money beyond their tickets when they go out to eat before a show, pay for parking, etc.  These audience expenditures account for about $285 million of the total $720 million.
  • Arts and culture groups also provide state and local governments with more than $60 million in revenue each year from taxable expenditures.
  • Hooker says businesses that want to expand in Atlanta often cite the city’s arts and culture scene as essential for attracting a workforce. He says that came up in negotiations with Mercedes-Benz, which is moving its U.S. headquarters to Sandy Springs. 
  • Hooker says the AEP5 study shows arts and culture organizations are responsible for significant direct and indirect job creation in metro Atlanta. He says the sector offers a strong return on investment.