Macon-Bibb Arts Support 3,222 Local Jobs, Has $88.1M in Economic Impact

Staff Report From Middle Georgia CEO

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $88.1 million in annual economic activity in Macon-Bibb County--supporting 3,222 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $6.8 million in local and state government revenues, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 national economic impact study. The most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.
Macon Arts Alliance and the Arts Roundtable hosted an Arts Advocacy Breakfast today at the Douglass Theatre where elected officials, local business leaders, arts organizations and patrons gathered to hear the results of the AEP5 study. Results show that Macon-Bibb nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent $49.1 million during fiscal year 2015. Those dollars, in turn, leveraged a remarkable $38.9 million in additional spending by their audiences. When attending a cultural event, patrons often eat dinner in local restaurants, pay for parking, buy gifts and souvenirs, and hire a babysitter. What's more, attendees from out of town often stay overnight in a local hotel. In Macon-Bibb, the average attendee spends an additional $26.63, not including ticket costs.
"The economic impact of the arts is more than just the money spent in communities. Cultural tourists spend money as well. Thirty-six percent of attendees traveled from outside Macon-Bibb to attend arts events. Their event spending was significantly more than their local counterparts, averaging $36.72 per day, beyond the cost of admission," said Macon CVB Director of Tourism Steven Fulbright.  
Nationwide, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 reveals that the nonprofit arts industry produces $166.3 billion in economic activity every year, resulting in $27.5 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues. In addition, it supports 4.6 million full-time equivalent jobs.
"This study demonstrates that the arts are an economic and employment powerhouse both locally and across the nation," said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "A vibrant arts and culture industry helps local businesses thrive and helps local communities become stronger and healthier places to live. Leaders who care about community and economic vitality can feel good about choosing to invest in the arts. Nationally as well as locally, the arts mean business."
"By proving that investing in the arts and culture yields economic benefits, AEP5 lays to rest the misconception that communities support arts and culture at the expense of local economic development. In fact, communities that support the arts and culture not only enhance their quality of life--they also invest in their economic well-being," stated Macon Arts Alliance Director Jan Beeland.