The Arts Mean Business in Morris County

On Wednesday, Oct. 25, Mayo Performing Arts Center hosted a press conference featuring Allison Larena, President & CEO of Mayo Performing Arts Center, and Tom Werder, Executive Director of Morris Arts. They presented findings from the Americans for the Arts economic impact study conducted in Morris County.  

Morris County’s Nonprofit Arts and Culture Industry Generates $31.8 million in Economic Activity and Supports 982 Jobs Annually According to Americans for the Arts
The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $31.8 million in annual economic activity in the Morris County area, supporting 982 full-time equivalent jobs and generating over $3.1 million in local and state government revenues, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) national economic impact study (FY 2015). 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.

In Morris County, results show that nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent $15.7 million during fiscal year 2015. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services and acquire assets within their community. Those dollars, in turn, generated over $12 million in household income for local residents and over $1.5 million in local and state government revenues.

In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit arts and culture industry leverages $16 million in Morris County in event-related spending by its audiences. As a result of attending a cultural event, attendees often eat dinner in local restaurants, pay for parking, buy gifts and souvenirs, and pay a babysitter. What’s more, attendees from out of town often stay overnight in a local hotel. In Morris County, these dollars support 223 full-time equivalent jobs and generate $1.6 million in local and state government revenues.

“The AEP5 study emphasizes that the arts not only build community by inspiring, delighting and uniting us – but it builds our community economically as well,” said Tom Werder, Executive Director, Morris Arts. “The arts are not only food for the soul, but they put food on the table for people who work in the industry and in businesses who thrive when arts events take place. Art is a fundamental component of our humanity – but we can also think of the arts as an industry – one that supports jobs, generates government revenue and is a cornerstone to tourism.”

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 and generates $96 billion in household income.

“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.”

The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study was conducted by Americans for the Arts and supported by The Ruth Lilly Fund of Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts’ local, regional, and statewide project partners contributed both time and financial support to the study. Financial information from organizations was collected in partnership with DataArts™, using a new online survey interface. For a full list of the communities who participated in the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study, visit www.AmericansForTheArts.org/AEP5Partners.


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