In October 2023, the results of the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 Study (AEP6) were released, offering a profound insight into the incredible economic and social impact of the arts and culture sector in Portland, Maine. The findings from this groundbreaking study revealed an astounding $86 million in economic activity generated by the nonprofit arts and culture organizations, showcasing the vital role that the arts play in building more vibrant and livable communities.
The AEP6 study, conducted by Americans for the Arts (AFTA), disclosed that the Greater Portland nonprofit arts and culture industry contributed a total of $86 million to the local economy in 2022. This impressive figure consisted of $58.2 million in expenditures by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and an additional $27.8 million in event-related spending by their audiences.
What makes these numbers even more impressive is the impact on job creation and government revenue. The arts and culture sector in Portland supported 1,872 jobs and generated $20.7 million in local, state, and federal government revenue. The spending by arts and culture audiences further fueled the local economy by providing valuable commerce to local merchants.
In a recent press release, Dinah Minot, the Executive Director of Creative Portland, expressed her gratitude to the participating nonprofit cultural organizations and emphasized the study’s importance in shedding light on the arts’ role in Portland’s economic, social, and creative wellbeing. She emphasized that the arts and culture sector is a key driver for Greater Portland’s economy, underscoring its undeniable value to the community.
The AEP6 study is part of a nationwide effort to document the economic and social contributions of nonprofit arts and culture organizations. Nationally, the study unveiled that America’s nonprofit arts and culture sector is a staggering $151.7 billion industry, supporting 2.6 million jobs and generating $29.1 billion in government revenue. These numbers highlight the significance of the arts as an economic driver of vibrant communities not only in Portland but throughout the United States.
The AEP6 study in Portland was a collaborative effort that spanned over a year. Data was meticulously collected from both the participating nonprofit organizations and the audiences attending performing arts events. This comprehensive approach allowed for a holistic assessment of the sector’s economic impact, encompassing everything from organizational expenses to audience spending.
Several nonprofit organizations played a pivotal role in contributing to the study’s findings, including TEMPOart and the Portland Public Art Commission. The involvement of many other nonprofit organizations showcases the collective effort that made this study possible and underscores the sector’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
The Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 Study has undeniably emphasized the profound economic and social impact of the arts and culture sector in Portland. The impressive $86 million in economic activity, job creation, and government revenue generated by this sector reinforces the importance of supporting and sustaining local artists and arts initiatives.
As these findings resonate locally and nationally, they serve as a powerful reminder of the vital role the arts play in building more livable communities, fostering creativity, and driving economic growth. The AEP6 study in Portland demonstrates that the arts are not just a cultural expression but a fundamental driver of prosperity and vitality in our society. TEMPOart is proud to contribute to that vitality through our mission to commission and support public art that sparks dialogue, builds community, and inspires our collective imagination.
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