Report: Arts Added $131.2M to NWA Economy in 2015

Report: Arts Added $131.2M to NWA Economy in 2015

A study by Americans for the Arts says that northwest Arkansas' nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $131.2 million in economic activity in 2015.

Arts and culture organizations spent $67.5 million, and the 1.8 million people who attended their events spent another $63.7 million, excluding the cost of admission that was about $35.89 per person.

Twenty-five percent of event attendees traveled from outside of the county in which the event took place, and they spent 199 percent more per person than local attendees.

In addition, the industry supported 4,647 jobs and generated $14 million in government revenue.

More: The complete report for Benton and Washington counties is available here.

This Arts & Economic Prosperity Study is conducted nationally every five years. The most recent study is the fifth study to be completed, and it documents the economic contributions of the nonprofit arts industry in 341 study regions during Fiscal Year 2015. All 50 states and the District of Columbia are represented.

Northwest Arkansas was the only study region in the state to be included in the report, and the industry there has grown compared to the previous study that reported findings for FY 2010. The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion opened in 2011 and 2014, respectively.

Total economic impact of the industry in northwest Arkansas is up 124 percent, the number of jobs is up 212 percent, local and state revenue is up 248 percent, resident spending is up 50 percent and non-resident spending is up 97 percent.

The Walton Arts Center's staff compiled data for the most recent study from 23 local nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. Each provided detailed budget information for 2015, including labor, payments to local and nonlocal artists, operations, administration, programming, facilities and capital expenditures/asset acquisition. Also, patrons were surveyed about their spending related to attending arts events.

The full report, a map of the study regions and an economic impact summary for each can be found here.