Arts and culture activities in state add nearly $150 million a year to the economy

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Delaware’s arts and culture industry generates $149.9 million in annual economic activity by supporting 4,062 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $10.5 million in local and state government revenues.The figure came from the latest Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 national economic impact study, which was released on June 17 at the Americans for the Arts’ annual conference in San Francisco.

The figure came from the latest Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 national economic impact study, which was released last month.

“This report demonstrates that the arts continue to be an important economic driver in Delaware, providing jobs for our citizens, generating business for our restaurants and other small enterprises, and tax revenue for our state and local governments. In addition to the important economic impacts, the arts benefit all Delawareans from children to senior citizens across the socioeconomic spectrum, and from rural communities to the cities,” says J. Mack Wathen, chair of the Delaware State Arts Council.

The report showed that nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent $103.6 million during fiscal year 2015. Organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services and acquire assets within their community.

Those money, in turn, generated $111.6 million in household income for local residents and a $10.5 million in local and state government revenues, which is approximately a 3:1 return on investment.

The Delaware Division of the Arts receives state funding approximately $3 million for grants to support arts and community-based organizations, schools and individual artists.

In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit arts and culture industry leverages $46.3 million (excluding the cost of admission) in event-related spending by its audiences.

In Delaware, 95 of the 135 eligible nonprofit arts and cultural organizations participated in this study—an overall participation rate of 70.4 percent. A list of the participating organizations can be found in the full report. In addition to organizational data, a total of 1,417 valid audience-intercept surveys were collected from attendees to nonprofit arts and cultural performances, events, and exhibitions during 2016.

The full report and one-page summary can be found at:

The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study was conducted by Americans for the Arts and supported by The Ruth Lilly Fund of Americans for the Arts.

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