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News: Fulton County joins national study to measure economic impact of the arts

The Fulton County Department of Arts and Culture has announced that it has joined Arts & Economic Prosperity® 5, a national study conducted with Americans for the Arts that measures the economic impact of arts and culture organizations and their audiences.

The study, which takes a deeper look at the impact of arts spending on local jobs, income paid to local residents and revenue generated to local and state governments, will be the fifth study of its kind over the past 20 years. It hopes to measure the impact of arts spending. Fulton County is one of 300 study partners nationwide.

“Many people don’t think of nonprofit arts organizations as businesses,” said county manager Dick Anderson. “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.”

logoAccording to Americans for the Arts’ most recent national study, the nonprofit arts industry generated $135.2 billion in total economic activity and supported 4.1 million full-time equivalent jobs during 2010, resulting in $22.3 billion in federal, state and local government revenues. The $135.2 billion total included $61.1 billion in spending by arts and culture organizations.

“This study will show that when we support the arts in Fulton County, we are making an investment in an industry, one that supports jobs and generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism,” said Lionell Thomas, director of arts and culture.

Fulton County will also collect surveys from attendees at arts events using a short, anonymous questionnaire. Previous surveys indicated that, on average, 32 percent of arts attendees travel from outside the county where the event was held, and that those cultural tourists typically spend nearly $40 per person — demonstrating how the arts drive revenue for other businesses in the community.

These surveys will be collected throughout 2016. The results of the study will be released in June 2017.

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