Did you know that your night out at the theater has a greater economic impact on your city beyond simply buying a ticket to a show?

Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, has launched the Arts & Economic Prosperity® 6 (AEP6) to show just how far-reaching the economic impact of arts and culture participation can really be for communities across America.

Business Council for the Arts (BCA) is the North Texas regional partner facilitating data collection for local nonprofit arts and culture organizations such as local theater and dance companies, museums and galleries, and arts education organizations.

The Leadership Arts Institute 2022 cohorts in Dallas and Collin/Denton Counties have taken on the launch of AEP6 and data collection as their class project. Leadership Arts Institute is a program of BCA that for more than 30 years has developed the future leaders of North Texas arts organizations providing training in leadership, nonprofit board best practices and more.  Annually, classes select a project to complete that simulates nonprofit board service and directly benefits the community.

This year’s study in North Texas will kick off with an event presented by BCA and the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture bringing together arts, community, and municipal leaders from across North Texas on Friday, March 25th at 10 am at the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas, TX.

To RSVP to attend this event, click here.

Municipalities and Arts Districts can participate in the study as a local partner and receive a customized report specific to their organizations and community. The City of Dallas and Dallas Arts District were among the first to sign on for this important effort.

“Cities, states and regions are understanding more than ever how the arts catalyze economic growth and quality of life,” says Katherine Wagner, CEO of BCA. “This study gives arts, business and municipal leaders the data to support this and understand more deeply the relationship of arts to economic and cultural vibrancy.”

Surveys for relevant data will be collected throughout the calendar year 2022; results will be released in 2023. AEP6 is the seventh national 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. Study partners like BCA will also collect audience intercept surveys from attendees at arts events using a short, anonymous questionnaire. This questionnaire will ask how much participants spent on things like meals, parking, 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.

AEP5, the most recent iteration of this national study, demonstrated how the arts fared during a robust period of economic growth. According to the 2017 study, nonprofit arts organizations throughout North Texas pumped $1.5 billion into the economy through expenditures of both the local arts organizations and participating audiences. The full AEP5 report for North Texas can be found here, along with individual reports from the participating cities and arts districts.

This year’s study, using FY 2022 data, was originally supposed to be conducted in 2020 and was postponed due to the pandemic. With the setback of this pushed study, the opportunity is present to analyze the fortitude and creativity of arts and culture organizations in the face of the economic instability presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, and what recovery has looked like in real-time.

For more information and to sign up as a partner please email bca@ntbca.org.

Jordan Jarrett

Jordan is the digital manager at Local Profile. She creates digital, print and social content. Her passion is profiling people and their experiences, connecting community through authentic narrative.