Groundbreaking Study Reveals Economic and Social Impact of Nonprofit Arts & Culture Sector in Palm Beach and Martin Counties
Posted by: Linnea Bailey
October 31, 2023
Two South Florida arts agencies — the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County and MartinArts — today announced that the nonprofit arts and cultural industries in Palm Beach and Martin Counties generated a combined $366.3 million in economic activity in 2022, according to the newly released Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), an economic and social impact study conducted every five years by Americans for the Arts. That collective economic activity — $205.3 million in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and $161.4 million in event-related spending by their audiences — supported 4,738 jobs and generated $61.4 million in local, state, and federal government revenue across the two counties. Spending by arts and cultural audiences generates valuable commerce to local merchants, a value-add that few other industries can compete with.
Building on its 30-year legacy as the largest and most inclusive study of its kind, AEP6 uses a rigorous methodology to document the economic and social contributions of the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry, including 373 diverse communities and regions representing all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The study demonstrates locally as well as nationally, arts and culture are a critical economic driver of vibrant communities.
“The AEP6 study drives home the value of arts and culture to our local communities,” said Dave Lawrence, the Cultural Council’s president and CEO. “As expected, our numbers have decreased since the prior study due to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is encouraging to see that audiences have remained strong. The Cultural Council has also recently completed its own studies of grant-funded organizations and we are confident that the overall economic impact is significantly higher than what the AEP6 study shows, as creative professionals and volunteers are not included in that particular study.”
The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County commissioned custom reports for Palm Beach County, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, and Boca Raton. The Council will share additional details from these reports in a series of meetings in December with Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research for Americans for the Arts, including a State of the Sector breakfast on December 15 at the organization’s headquarters in Lake Worth Beach.
The two South Florida arts agencies partnered to announce their results together because they share many of the same audiences and the region is stronger together, said Nancy Turrell, executive director for MartinArts.
“We are pleased to see that the economic impact of the arts in Martin County is strong. The data collected through our many partners in the community demonstrate just how vital the arts are to our residents and visitors alike,” Turrell said. “South Florida is a large region, and the power of the arts is clearly evidenced in the AEP6 results. Martin County is a smaller impact, but for our size, the impact remains significant.”
Nationally, AEP6 reveals that America’s nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $151.7 billion industry — one that supports 2.6 million jobs and generates $29.1 billion in government revenue.
“Arts and culture organizations have a powerful ability to attract and hold dollars in the community longer. They employ people locally, purchase goods and services from nearby businesses, and produce the authentic cultural experiences that are magnets for visitors, tourists, and new residents,” said Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “When we invest in nonprofit arts and culture, we strengthen our economy and build more livable communities.”
Key figures from the AEP6 studies in Palm Beach and Martin Counties include:
- The nonprofit arts and culture industries in Palm Beach and Martin Counties generate a combined $161.4 million in event-related spending by their audiences ($146.3 million in Palm Beach County and $15.1 million in Martin County).
- The typical attendee spends an average of $34.56 in Palm Beach County and $24.51 in Martin County per person per event, not including the cost of admission.
- At least 31% of arts and culture attendees were from outside the county in which the activity took place (Palm Beach and Martin Counties). They spent an average of $53.30 in Palm Beach County and $37.28 in Martin County, all of which is vital income for local merchants.
- More than 87% of respondents in each county agreed that the activity or venue they were attending was “a source of neighborhood pride for the community.”
- More than 86% said they would “feel a sense of loss if that activity or venue was no longer available.”
AEP6 demonstrates the significant economic and social benefits that arts and culture brings to their communities, states, and the nation. To amplify the study results and raise awareness of these widespread benefits with public and private-sector leaders, 17 national organizations partnered with Americans for the Arts on AEP6:
- Actors’ Equity Association
- African Diaspora Consortium
- Arts & Planning Division (American Planning Association)
- Black Legislative Leaders Network
- Department for Professional Employees
- AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations)
- Destinations International
- International City/County Management Association
- Independent Sector
- National Association of Counties
- National Conference of State Legislatures
- National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations
- National Independent Venue Association
- National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women
- Race Forward
- Recording Industry Association of America
- The Conference Board
By measuring arts and culture’s wide-ranging impact, public and private sector leaders can work together to secure funding and arts-friendly policies that shape more vibrant and equitable communities.
The full report can be found at AEP6.AmericansForTheArts.org.
About the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County
The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County is the official support agency for arts and culture in The Palm Beaches, Florida’s Cultural Capital®. Headquartered in the historic Robert M. Montgomery, Jr. building in Downtown Lake Worth Beach, the Council presents exciting year-round exhibitions and performances featuring artists who live or work in Palm Beach County. The Council features spectacular work by Palm Beach County-based professional artisans in its Roe Green Uniquely Palm Beach Store and offers complimentary resources for visitors in its Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Visitor Information Center. During the summer months and through October 31st, the Council is open to the public Tuesdays through Fridays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the second Saturday of each month from noon to 5 p.m. Starting on November 1, the Council will be open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information and a comprehensive calendar of cultural events in The Palm Beaches, visit palmbeachculture.com.
MartinArts mission is to inspire participation and passion for the arts in our community. MartinArts has served our community since 1980 and as the local arts agency since 1986. With roots in our community, we strive to support the arts sector through advocacy, promotion, research, community planning and programming. MartinArts envisions a vibrant and thriving community where arts and culture are woven into every aspect of life. As a regional leader, MartinArts stimulates and advances the economy of the cultural community. MartinArts Council is a private, non-profit organization with a 501(c)3 status through the IRS. MartinArts Council is supported in part by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts & Culture, the City of Stuart, Martin County Board of County Commissioners and private contributions. MartinArts is located at 80 SE Ocean Blvd. in Stuart, Florida. For more information, visit MartinArts.org or call (772) 287-6676.
Cultural Council for Palm Beach County