WORCESTER – According to a recent national economic impact study, the nonprofit arts and culture industry in Greater Worcester generates more than $125 million in annual economic activity.
The Arts & Economic Prosperity study, conducted by Americans for the Arts – the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education – shows that the arts and culture programs in Greater Worcester support 4,062 full-time equivalent jobs and generate nearly $10 million in local and state government revenues.
“In Worcester, we understand that art works. Worcester is home to world-class art, theatre, and concerts, and they add tremendous value, not only to our culture but to our economy,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. “As a city, we must continue to cultivate our creative economy, which is crucial to our continued success as a great place to live, work, study, and play.”
Results from the study show that nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent $64.5 million during FY 2015. That money generated more than $46 million in household income for local residents, over $3 million local government revenue and $2.5 million in state government revenue.
“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 empirical data from this study is eye popping, it proves the arts and culture industry is a major factor in the economic well-being of the Worcester community and its populace,” noted Michael Traynor, Worcester’s Chief Development Officer. “The creative economy is an indispensable component of our economic development agenda.”
In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit arts and culture industry leveraged $61.2 million in event-related spending by its audiences. In Worcester, these dollars support 1,261 full-time equivalent jobs and generate $4,215,000 in local and state government revenues.
“The study confirms that the arts in its many forms, contributes to the economic vitality of our city and region. Worcester’s growing restaurant and foodie scene is just one example of how the arts and creative economy can come together to create jobs and generate revenue,” noted Timothy P. Murray, president and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
“Cities and communities we want to live in are those that have both economic viability, and social capital. Great cities and towns that are exciting , thriving communities embrace arts, culture and creativity. Creativity sparks the economy and build community. “noted Erin Williams, Cultural Development Officer for the City of Worcester.
“The impact of cultural assets and organizations should be measured not just in dollars but in the way the arts elevate our entire city,” said Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “Beyond just brick and mortar construction and development, a modern eighteen-hour-city needs a vibrant culinary and cultural sector to move forward.”