Arts Jobs Take Center Stage in Fayetteville
The arts are generating more than creativity in northwest Arkansas. The arts have had an increased impact on the local economy throughout the years, according to reports.
“The arts have a pretty big impact on the economy in northwest Arkansas. Americans for the Arts calculated that Theatresquared had an estimated impact of $1.3 million last year,” said Martin Miller, managing director of Theatresquared.
The 25 not-for-profit arts and culture organizations that participated in a recent study in the northwest Arkansas area reported that they received contributions with an estimated value of $528,019 during fiscal year 2010. These contributions were received from a variety of sources including corporations, individuals, local and state arts agencies and government.
“The new performing arts center that was recently donated to the UA will increase the influence the arts has in this community. Having such a high quality venue is most certainly a win,” Miller said.
The arts industry nationally generated $135.2 billion of economic activity, according to a June 8, 2012, arts and economic prosperity report.
Revenue from admission, parking, eating out and lodging are also factors in generated revenue from the arts.
The 25 not-for-profit arts and culture organizations that participated in the most recent study of its kind in the northwest Arkansas area reported that the estimated attendance to their events was 746,655 during 2010. These attendees spent an estimated total of $14.6 million, excluding the cost of event admission.
The national median of money spent outside of cost of admission was $21,573,435 in 2010, according to the report.
Nationally, employment in the arts has stayed steady with a slight decrease from 2008 of 2.24 million to last year with 2.15 million people employed in arts-related fields, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The recession could have had an influence in the decrease of jobs in the arts industry at that time, officials said.
“Most organizations report audience numbers holding steady, even though ticket revenues are dropping. This suggests that people may be taking advantage of free programming, rather than spending money on tickets. A significant number, about four in ten, predict a decrease in ticket sales this year,” according to the Washington State Arts Commission in a 2009 report.
“The arts are a big driver of the economy and people want to be involved in them,” Miller said.