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CAP was founded in 1990 to act as an advocate for the arts, serve the public by providing services and resources for county artists and arts organizations, and encourage collaboration among arts, education, business, civic and government organizations.Learn more

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Economic Impact of the Arts - $20.7 Million in Tompkins County

Tompkins County's Nonprofit Arts and Culture Industry Generates $20.7 Million in Economic Activity and Supports 789 Jobs Annually According to Americans for the Arts

Arts Industry Returns $2.4 Million in Revenue to Local and State Coffers

The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $20.7 million in annual economic activity in Tompkins County-supporting 789 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $2.4 million in local and state government revenues, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV national economic impact study. The most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States, Arts & Economic Prosperity IV was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.

According to the study, nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent $13.4 million during fiscal year 2010. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services and acquire assets within their community. Those dollars, in turn, generated $10.57 million in household income for local residents and $1.25 million in local and state government revenues.

The Community Arts Partnership (CAP) served as the local partner on the study, conducting audience intercept surveys and collecting data from eligible non-profit arts and culture organizations. Executive Director Brett Bossard sees the results as hard evidence to back up what many already knew-the non-profit arts are a vital part of the community: "CAP has always been able to promote the importance of the arts in Tompkins County as a component of having a well-rounded, more vibrant community, but the data from this study drives home the fact that the arts contribute not only to our hearts and minds, but also to our region's bottom line."

Nationally, the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study reveals that the nonprofit arts industry produced $135.2 billion in economic activity during 2010. This spending-$61.1 billion by nonprofit arts and culture organizations plus an additional $74.1 billion by their audiences-supported 4.1 million full-time equivalent jobs and generated $22.3 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues.


"This study shines a much-needed light on the vital role the arts play in stimulating and sustaining economic development," says Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "Contrary to popular belief, the arts are a bustling industry that supports a plethora of diverse jobs, generates significant revenues for local businesses and to federal, state and local governments and provides quality of life that positions communities to compete in our 21st century creative economy." 

Arts Industry Boon for Local Businesses

In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit arts and culture industry leverages $7.3 million 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 Tompkins County, these dollars support 197 full-time equivalent jobs and generate $1.14 million in local and state government revenues.

The Arts & Economic Prosperity IV 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. The full text of the national statistical report is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org/EconomicImpact. The summary and complete report for Tompkins County is available online at ArtsPartner.org.