Walton Arts Center and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced they have joined the Arts & Economic Prosperity® 5, a national study measuring the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences. The research study is being conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s nonprofit organization advancing the arts and arts education. It is the fifth study over the past 20 years to measure the impact of arts spending on local jobs, income paid to local residents and revenue generated to local and state governments.

As one of nearly 300 study partners across all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, the Department of Cultural Affairs will collect detailed financial data about local nonprofit arts and culture organizations such as theater and dance companies, museums, festivals and arts education organizations.

Study partners in Northwest Arkansas will also collect audience-intercept surveys from attendees at arts events using a short, anonymous questionnaire that asks how much they spent on items such as meals, parking and transportation, souvenirs, retail
shopping and overnight lodging as a direct result of attending the event. Additional analyses will gauge the important role that the nonprofit arts industry plays in attracting tourists to communities.
Previous studies have shown that the average attendee spends $24.60 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on meals, transportation, babysitting, and other event-related spending. Those studies have also shown that, on average, 32 percent of all arts attendees travel from outside of the county in which the arts event took place and that those cultural tourists typically spend nearly $40 per person – generating important revenue for local businesses and demonstrating how the arts drive revenue for other businesses in the community.

Surveys will be collected throughout calendar year 2016. The results of the study will be released in June of 2017.

Walton Arts Center Vice President of Programming, Jenni T. Swain said, “This study will show that when we support the arts in Northwest Arkansas, we are making an investment in an industry, one that supports and impacts the well-being of all those in in our community.”

According to Americans for the Arts’ most recent national study, the nonprofit arts industry generated $135.2 billion in total economic activity and supported 4.1 million full-time equivalent jobs during 2010, resulting in $22.3 billion in federal, state and local government revenues. The $135.2 billion total included $61.1 billion in spending by arts organizations and $74.1 billion in event-related spending by their audiences on items such as meals, local transportation and overnight lodging. Complete details about the fiscal year 2010 study are available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org/EconomicImpact.

Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study is supported by The Ruth Lilly Fund of Americans for the Arts. In addition, Americans for the Arts’ local and statewide study partners are contributing both time and a cost-sharing fee support to the study. For a full list of the nearly 300 Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study partners, visit www.AmericansForTheArts.org/AEP5Partners.

Walton Arts Center is Arkansas' premier center for the performing arts and entertainment. Each year more than 240,000 people from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma and beyond attend over 490 public events at Walton Arts Center, including performances, rehearsals, community gatherings, receptions, graduations and more. Approximately 45,000 students and teachers from 30 school districts participate annually in arts learning programs at Walton Arts Center, and over 200 volunteers donate more than 19,000 hours of time each year to its operations. Walton Arts Center presents entertainers and artists from around the world including Broadway musicals, renowned dance companies, international artists, up-and-coming jazz musicians and more. As a non-profit organization, Walton Arts Center enjoys the generous support of public sector funding, corporate sponsorship and private donors, allowing audience members to pay on average only 50% of the cost of programs offered. To learn more about Walton Arts Center, visit www.waltonartscenter.org.

The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. We explore the unfolding story of America by actively collecting, exhibiting, interpreting, and preserving outstanding works that illuminate our heritage and artistic possibilities.
Opened to the public on 11-11-11, Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 by the Walton Family Foundation as a nonprofit charitable organization for all to enjoy. Philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton chairs the Museum’s board of directors. Since its opening, the Museum has welcomed more than two million visitors, and garnered 9,000+ membership households. Some 110,000 school children have participated in the Museum’s Willard and Pat Walker School Visit program, which provides educational experiences for school groups at no cost to the schools. More than 250,000 visitors a year utilize the Museum’s 3.5 miles of walking trails.