The Arts Mean Business. That is the message being delivered as the Sioux Falls Arts Council concludes the first quarter of Arts & Economic Prosperity® 5, a national study measuring the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences. The research study is being conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s nonprofit organization advancing the arts and arts education. It is the fifth study over the past 20 years to measure the impact of arts spending on local jobs, income paid to local residents, and revenue generated to local and state governments.
As one of nearly 300 study partners across all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, SFAC will collect detailed financial data about our local nonprofit arts and culture organizations such as our theater and dance companies, museums, festivals, and arts education organizations. Many people don’t think of nonprofit arts organizations as businesses, but this study will make clear that the arts are a formidable industry in our community—employing people locally, purchasing goods and services from local merchants, and helping to drive tourism and economic development.
With the help of other local nonprofit art and culture organizations, SFAC will also collect surveys from attendees at arts events using a short, anonymous questionnaire that asks how much money they spent on items such as meals, parking and transportation, and retail shopping specifically as a result of attending the event. The previous study Arts & Economic Prosperity IV (data collected in 2011) showed that the average attendee in the Greater Sioux Falls Area (Minnehaha, Lincoln, McCook and Turner Counties) spends $21.57 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission. That study also showed that, on average, 25.6 percent of arts attendees travel from outside the Greater Sioux Falls Area, and that those cultural tourists typically spend nearly $44 per person—generating important revenue for local businesses and demonstrating how the arts drive revenue for other businesses in the community.
Surveys will be collected throughout calendar year 2016. The results of the study will be released in June of 2017.