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Greater Columbus’ Nonprofit Arts and Culture Industry Generates Nearly a Half Billion Dollars in Economic Activity and Supports 14,980 Jobs Annually According to Americans for the Arts

in Press Releases June 17, 2017 3 min read

Arts Industry Returns $46.8 million in Revenue to Local and State Coffers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $412.3 million in annual economic activity in the greater Columbus region —supporting 14,980 full-time equivalent jobs, generating $46.8 million in local and state government revenues and $373.4 million in household income for local residents according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 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 5 was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.

“This study confirms the importance of the contributions non-profit arts and cultural sector to our community and our economy,” said Tom Katzenmeyer, president and CEO for the Greater Columbus Arts Council. “In addition to the $412 million in economic activity and 14,980 jobs, arts organizations provide arts education programs in our schools, helping students learn better across all subjects, provide our residents with access to national and international touring acts and spur tourism and business development–we need to continue to grow the public investment in the arts to keep pace with the growth of the region.”

Nationwide, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 reveals that the nonprofit arts industry produces $166.3 billion in economic activity every year, resulting in $27.54 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues. In addition, it supports 4.6 million full-time equivalent jobs and generates $96 billion in household income.

“This study demonstrates that the arts are an economic and employment powerhouse both locally and across the nation,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “A vibrant arts and culture industry helps local businesses thrive and helps local communities become stronger and healthier places to live. Leaders who care about community and economic vitality can feel good about choosing to invest in the arts. Nationally as well as locally, the arts mean business.”

Arts Industry Boon for Local Businesses

In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit arts and culture industry leverages $189.8 million in event-related spending by its audiences. Cultural tourism supports jobs and retains local revenue. 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 greater Columbus these dollars support 6,791 full-time equivalent jobs and generate $24.8 million in local and state government revenues.

“Central Ohio’s thriving arts and culture scene brings significant value to our economy and to all of us who live, work and play here,” said Michael Gonsiorowski, PNC regional president for central Ohio and Arts Council board member.  “It’s a great feeling to be able to support visual and performing arts organizations who come up with creative new ideas.  PNC Arts Alive is at its heart a driver of economic development.  By encouraging the tremendous efforts to foster a vibrant and active arts scene in and around Columbus, we are working to attract young talent, provide access to new audiences – including those traditionally underserved by the arts – and fuel the economic engine of the region.” Corporate support is critical to a healthy arts ecosystem.  Through PNC Arts Alive, the PNC Foundation has provided $2.5 million to 72 local, non-profit arts groups in the Columbus area since 2010. Last year PNC announced it would grant another $1 million and extend PNC Arts Alive through 2020.

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. Americans for the Arts’ local, regional, and statewide project partners contributed both time and financial support to the study. Financial information from organizations was collected in partnership with DataArts™, using a new online survey interface. For a full list of the communities who participated in the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study, visit

The full text of the greater Columbus area findings is available here

About the Greater Columbus Arts Council: Through vision and leadership, advocacy and collaboration, the Greater Columbus Arts Council supports art and advances the culture of the region. A catalyst for excellence and innovation, we fund exemplary artists and arts organizations and provide programs, events and services of public value that educate and engage all audiences in our community. GCAC thanks the City of Columbus and Ohio Arts Council for their ongoing support.

CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492

Sarah Irvin, Irvin PR
(614) 296-4057