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Tennesse Arts Commission's Executive Director, Anne Pope shares results from the Arts Economic Prosperity 5 study

by Americans for the Arts.  

Hamblen County Nonprofit Arts and Culture Industry Generates $2 Million in Economic Activity


Hamblen County— Arts & Economic Prosperity 5(AEP5)national economic impact study provides evidence that the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in Hamblen County—one that generates $2 million in total economic activity. This spending—$760,318 by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and an additional $1.3 million in event-related spending by their audiences—was reported by six local organizations. 


As a result of attending a cultural event, attendees often eat dinner in local restaurants, pay for parking, buy gifts and souvenirs, and pay a babysitter. What’s more, attendees from out of town often stay overnight in local lodgings. In Hamblen County, these dollars support 62 full-time equivalent jobs, which generates $1.2 million in household income to local residents and delivers $190,000in local and state government revenue.


Anne Pope, Executive Director of the TN Arts Commission, presented the study to the Hamblen County Commission at its meeting on June 11, 2018. Rose Center for the Arts led local efforts. They collected 417 surveys from audiences attending events at the six participating local nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, and coordinated financial and program data collection from the organizations.


Attending the meeting, along with County Commissioners, were several Rose Center Board members, local artists, and art supporters. Regarding the information presented, Commissioner Doe Jarvis, had this to say, “The arts play a significant role in Hamblen County, from visitors coming to our county to locals having a place to exhibit their works. We are fortunate to have an historic as well as a beautiful facility like Rose Center to host various events. We are thankful to the Tennessee arts Commission for their investment in Hamblen County.”  


The study reported that there were 41,472 nonprofit arts and culture attendees in Hamblen County in 2015, 47 percent of who were residents. Of the nonresident survey respondents, 69 percent indicated that the primary purpose of their visit to the County was “specifically to attend this arts/cultural event.” Nonresident attendees spent an average of 13 percent more per person than local attendees ($32.08 vs. $28.44) as a result of their attendance to cultural events.


The study shows that arts and culture help retain local dollars: 37 percent of local resident attendees said they would have “traveled to a different community to attend a similar cultural event” if the event was not taking place locally.


During 2015, 747 volunteers donated a total of 45,941 hours to the County’s six participating nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. This represents a donation of time with an estimated aggregate value of $1,082,370.


The statewide report shows that Tennessee’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $1.17 billion in annual economic activity—supporting 38,482 full-time equivalent jobs, and generating $837.8 million in household income and delivering $135.9 million in local and state government revenues.


The Tennessee Arts Commission worked with 25 local partners and nine development districts to produce a statewide report and customized city, county and regional reports. Data was collected from 642 participating nonprofit organizations across the state and included 14,915 audience participation surveys. The study does not include numbers from individual artists or for-profit arts, music and culture businesses.


“This study demonstrates that nonprofit arts and culture is a significant industry in Tennessee and Hamblen County—supporting jobs, generating local and state revenue, and driving tourism,” said Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission. 


Nationwide, the AEP5 reveals that the nonprofit arts and culture industry produces $166.3 billion in economic activity every year. In addition, it supports 4.6 million full-time equivalent jobs and generates $96.07 billion in household income.  See full report below: 

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