Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation Study Establishes a $100 Million Annual Economic Impact by Local Arts & Culture Sector

Approximately $100 million in total annual economic activity is generated by arts & culture nonprofits in Washtenaw County and Plymouth, Michigan

​​​​​​​​​The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF) recently sponsored a study conducted by Americans for the Arts (AFTA) to evaluate the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in Washtenaw County and Plymouth, Michigan. The results of the study clearly indicate that nonprofit arts and culture organizations act as meaningful economic drivers by supporting jobs, generating local income and government revenues, and significantly impacting the economy of the region.

“This data shows that we should think of our local nonprofit arts & culture sector as a growth industry that warrants greater investment for a more robust local economy," said Neel Hajra, President & CEO of Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation.

AAACF, in partnership with the Arts Alliance, facilitated a year-long collection of data from 87 nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences, which revealed that:

  • 1.78 million event attendees in 2014 spent an estimated $50 million, excluding the cost of event admissions.
     

  • This sector accounts for 2,574 full-time equivalent jobs, generates $66.5 million in household income to local residents, and delivers $12.8 million in local and state government revenues.
     

  • Nearly one-third of event attendees were non-residents, who on average spent more than twice as much as local attendees ($44.07 vs. $20.58).

“We’ve always known that Washtenaw County is a uniquely creative center for artistic ingenuity, but this data firmly demonstrates that the economic impact of the creative sector in Washtenaw County is $100 million, and that growth in the sector would result in significant benefits to our local economy,” Hajra announced. “So whether it’s big investments, the $5 you donate to a local nonprofit, or simply spreading the word, it's good for our community and good for our economy when you support nonprofit arts and culture.”

An executive summary as well as the full study are available on AAACF’s website at www.aaacf.org. An online calculator there also allows local nonprofits to determine their individual economic impact.

Findings from the study will significantly impact future plans and direction for AAACF’s innovative Culture Economic Development (CED) initiative, which seeks to leverage a strong arts & culture sector for a more robust local economy that benefits all area residents. CED uses a three-pronged strategy: (1) Convening  community stakeholders to identify new growth opportunities; (2) Collecting and sharing data that demonstrate the local economic impact of arts & culture activities, and (3) Mobilizing private resources to make creative investments in the local arts & culture sector. AAACF pairs this initiative with its extensive work in the human services field, investing simultaneously in both people and place.

The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation is dedicated to enriching the quality of life in our region through its engaged grantmaking, knowledgeable leadership, and creative partnerships with donors – to make philanthropic investments and build endowment.  Founded in 1963, AAACF has awarded more than $38 million in grants and scholarships that have changed thousands of lives.  AAACF currently manages more than $77 million in total assets and more than 550 charitable funds on our community’s behalf.

For more information, please visit www.aaacf.org.​

CONTACT:

Neel Hajra, President & CEO

(734) 663-0401​


Categories: Economy, Non Profit, Arts and Entertainment

Tags: Ann Arbor, Arts, Nonprofits


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About Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation

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The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation enriches the quality of life in our region through its knowledgeable leadership, engaged grantmaking, and creative partnerships with donors to make philanthropic investments and build endowment.

Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation
301 N Main St (300)
Ann Arbor, MI 48104