Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity every year—$63.1 billion in spending by organizations and an additional $103.1 billion in event-related spending by their audiences. These statistics come from a national economic impact study called Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, conducted by Americans for the Arts. The study is a year long, two-part study that evaluates the impact that non-profit organizations and their audiences spending has on local economies.

You may be wondering what this has to do with Eugene.  January of this year, Eugene officially joined the Arts and Economic Prosperity IV (AEP4) study. According to the AEP4 website, the study is the most comprehensive of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted. Eugene joins an impressive list of study participants. The study documents the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in 156 communities and regions (116 cities and counties, 35 multicounty regions, and five states), and represents all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Local participation in the study includes organizations such as The City of Eugene, the Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene and the University of Oregon’s Center for Community Arts and Cultural Policy. The project team consists of members from these organizations as well as the Eugene Chamber of Commerce and the Public Library. As a part of the AEP4 study, surveys will be handed out to patrons at arts and culture events throughout the community, and then collected.

Eugene was easily eligible considering its number of organizations whose primary purpose is to promote appreciation for and understanding of the visual, performing, folk, and media arts, which is part of the eligibility criteria. Public arts councils, public presenting facilities or institutions, and embedded organizations that have their own budget are also included if they play a substantial role in the cultural life of the community.

A January press release by the Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene regarding the study, states the study will provide a nationwide picture of the impact of the nonprofit arts industry, as well as detailed, customized statistics for Eugene.

Specifically, the study’s results will include:

  • the total dollars spent by Eugene’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations
  • the total dollars spent by audiences as a direct result of their attendance at arts and culture events in Eugene
  • the number of full-time equivalent jobs supported by arts spending
  • the amount of resident, household income—including salaries and wages—generated by arts spending
  • the amount of local and state government tax revenues generated by arts spending

More information about Eugene’s involvement and how you can participate can be found here. The results of the AEP4 study will be released in May 2012.