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Arts Center partnering on economic impact study

People will be encouraged to participate in a brief online survey of activities and events through The Arts Center.

Arts Center survey .jpg
People can use this QR code to answer questions about their experiences through The Arts Center as part of a national survey on the economic impact of the arts.
Kathy Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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JAMESTOWN – People attending The Arts Center events have an opportunity to weigh in on the economic impact of doing so.

The Arts Center is participating in a national study of the nation’s nonprofits arts and culture industry. The study, called Arts & Economic Prosperity 6, is focusing on 387 participating communities from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. While a national study, it provides local data to the communities that are participating.

People who participate in the online-only study can help The Arts Center leverage future funding, says Mindi Schmitz, executive director.

“We can build a narrative about how important of an economic impact The Arts Center is to our local community,” she said. “And so that drives business support, increase in membership and also the funding sources.”

This study is the sixth one conducted through the Americans for the Arts and locally is conducted in a partnership between the organization and The Arts Center. According to americansforthearts.org, the nonprofit organization focuses on building “recognition and support for the extraordinary and dynamic value of the arts and to lead, serve, and advance the diverse networks of organizations and individuals who cultivate the arts in America.”

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The fifth national study that was reported in 2017 on 341 communities found that the nonprofit arts industry generated $166.3 billion in economic activity, which was spending by organizations and the event-related spending by their audiences. That supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in government revenue, the study found, demonstrating that investment in the arts provides cultural and economic benefits, Americans for the Arts said.

Nonprofit arts and culture organizations are businesses, says the Americans for the Arts because they employ people locally, purchase goods and services in the community, are chamber members and attract tourists to their regions. The fifth study found that arts attendees spent $31.47 per person per event above the cost of admission on such items as meals, parking and lodging. The study found that one-third of people attending events travel from outside the area to the event, spending an average of $48 per person.

The study also found that the combined $5 billion in direct arts funding by local, state and federal governments yielded $27.5 billion in government revenue.

The sixth study, which includes The Arts Center, began on May 1 and will end on April 30, 2023, Schmitz said. People attending any Arts Center events including classes, exhibits and the Downtown Arts Market will be encouraged to use the available QR code to participate in the online survey. A person can fill out the survey for each class or activity, she said. The survey questions are the same for all events and activities.

The simple questions include the number who attended the event, money spent, the respondent's education and the venue/activity provided.

Schmitz said she thinks having a QR code for the surveys will be convenient for the participants. Previously, paper surveys were used.

A customized report of the survey for Jamestown will be generated. The Arts Center is also expected to receive practical actions to increase local participation.

“That (the survey results) will translate into a narrative that art organizations can use, particularly the Americans for the Arts, and we can use locally to make the case for federal funding through the National Endowment for the Arts or the North Dakota Council on the Arts,” Schmitz said.

Related Topics: JAMESTOWNARTSTUTSMAN COUNTY
Kathy Steiner has been the editor of The Jamestown Sun since 1995. She graduated from Valley City State College with a bachelor's degree in English and studied mass communications at North Dakota State University, Fargo. She reports on business, government and community topics in the Jamestown area. Reach her at 701-952-8449 or ksteiner@jamestownsun.com.
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