The wait is over: On Saturday, June 17, Americans for the Arts released Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, our fifth national study of the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry. The most comprehensive study of its kind ever conducted, it documents the economic contributions of the arts in 341 diverse communities and regions across the country, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Detailed expenditure data was collected from 14,439 arts and cultural organizations and 212,691 of their attendees.

And the results are just as big. The arts are an engine of economic growth, tourism, and employment.Nationally, in 2015, nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and their audiences: 

  • Generated $166.3 billion in economic activity
  • Supported 4.6 million full-time equivalent jobs
  • Generated $27.5 billion in government revenue

Typical arts attendees:

  • Spent $31.47 per person, per event beyond the cost of admission
  • 69% of nonlocal attendees indicated their primary reason for visiting was "specifically to attend this arts or cultural event."

"By every measure, the results of Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 prove that the arts are an industry—a generator of government revenue, a cornerstone of tourism, and an employment powerhouse both locally and across the nation." — Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts

Make Your Case for the Value of the Arts

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 sends an important message to elected officials and local businesses: Supporting the arts is an investment in economic well-being and quality of life.

Armed with quantifiable data, communities across the country have used Arts & Economic Prosperity studies to argue for pro-arts ballot initiatives, new funding, and increased investments in the arts and culture. 

Use free Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 tools and resources to make your case:

  • Your portal for all Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 findings, resources, and news.
  • Video and Blog: Hear from Randy Cohen, Americans for the Arts Vice President of Research and Policy, on his key takeaways from the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study.
  • Media Toolkit: Get visibility for your message by communicating with press and media outlets.
  • Social Media Tools: Share the message that the arts mean business with sample tweets and Facebook posts! 

Order Your Materials

Americans for the Arts offers Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 publications to share with stakeholders in your community, like mayors, board members, business and community leaders, and other elected officials. Order your copies online, by sending an e-mail to or calling 202.371.2830.

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