The Regional Arts & Culture Council is partnering with Americans for the Arts to launch Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) this month. This is the sixth national study of the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry, and the fourth study here in Portland. Results will be published in the fall of 2023 and will help inform our broader cultural planning process taking place over the next two years.
Now more than ever it is important to demonstrate that, even in the wake of COVID-19 and the resulting economic recession, the arts are providing a significant boost, recharging the economy in our communities. The arts are drawing people out of their homes and back into community life—spending time with each other and spending their money with local merchants.
This economic impact study helps expand the conversation about how people view the arts. While most appreciate the cultural benefits provided to our community, few realize that our local arts industry also supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is a cornerstone of tourism.
AEP5, published in 2017, revealed that the state of Oregon's nonprofit arts industry generates $687 million of economic activity every year—$364 million in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $323 million in event-related expenditures by their audiences. This activity supported 22,299 full time equivalent jobs and generated $53 million in revenue to local and state governments.
While part of a national study, RACC’s report will be based on spending by our own local nonprofit arts and culture organizations as well as the event-related spending by their audiences (at local retail, parking, and restaurant establishments). RACC is seeking help from community members to collect data for AEP6. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Mario Mesquita, Manager of Advocacy and Engagement at RACC, AEP6@racc.org.