Council part of arts study

July 11, 2016 GMT

The Paris-Henry County Arts Council has joined the “Arts and Economic Prosperity 5,” a national study being conducted by Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts is the nation’s nonprofit organization promoting advancing the arts and arts education.

For the past five years they have conducted this research to measure the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences on their communities.

To account for this impact, researchers consider how much money is spent on local jobs, income paid to local residents and revenue generated to local and state governments.

Amy Jones, executive director of the Paris-Henry County Arts Council, said members of the council are delighted to be a partner in the study.

About 300 other art councils across the nation have also agreed to participate in this study, making them partners. As part of being a partner, the arts council here will collect detailed financial data about local nonprofit arts and culture organizations such as the theatre and dance companies, museums, festivals and arts education programs.

The council will also collect surveys from attendees at arts events in the area. These surveys are designed to determine how much money people spend at art events on food, parking, transportation and retail shopping.

Previous studies have shown the average attendee spends $24.60 a person for each event beyond the cost of admission, according to their report.

These reports also indicated art events bring in more revenue for local businesses, because about 32 percent of attendees are traveling outside of their home county to participate.

The nonprofit arts industry generated $135.2 billion in total economic activity and supported 4.1 million full-time equivalent jobs during 2010, according to the Americans for the Arts’ 2010 fiscal year study. This resulted in $22.3 billion in federal, state and local government revenues.

“We know that rural communities are important to the overall arts community,” Jones said. “This study will show that when we support the arts in Henry County, we are making an investment in an industry; one that supports jobs, generates government revenue and is the cornerstone of tourism.”

The council will be collecting surveys throughout calendar year 2016. The results of this study will be released in June 2017.