Arts Council of Indianapolis Joins Americans for the Arts’ National Arts Economic Impact Study

Indy Chamber News Archives

INDIANAPOLIS–The Arts Council of Indianapolis and the city of Indianapolis have joined over 300 US communities to participate in Arts & Economic Prosperity® 5, the largest 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 leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. Arts & Economic Prosperity® 5 will continue to demonstrate that the arts in Indianapolis mean business. 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.

“We are pleased to be a study partner once again with Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Economic Prosperity®. We look forward to leading the local charge and organizing this economic impact study for Indianapolis. This research is instrumental in painting the true picture and economic impact of the arts and cultural industry in the city of Indianapolis,” said Dave Lawrence, President & CEO of the Arts Council of Indianapolis. “The data collected from local organizations will help support the case for increased public and private sector arts funding in our region and will generate significant statewide and local visibility for our cultural industry.”

The Arts Council of Indianapolis will collect detailed financial data about local nonprofit arts and culture organizations such as Indianapolis’ theater and dance companies, museums, festivals, and arts education organizations. The Arts Council will also collect surveys from attendees at arts events using a short, anonymous questionnaire that asks how much money individuals spent on items such as meals, parking and transportation, and retail shopping specifically as a result of attending the event. Previous studies have shown that the average attendee spends $24.60 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission. Those studies have also shown that, on average, 32 percent of arts attendees travel from outside 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.

The last study was completed near the end of the Great Recession. This new study will demonstrate how the arts have fared during a robust period of economic recovery and growth. Surveys will be collected throughout calendar year 2016. The results of the study will be released in June of 2017.

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. Per the 2010 study, the arts industry in Indianapolis generates more than $384 million in economic activity annually and supports more than 13,300 full-time jobs.

Complete details about the fiscal year 2010 study are available at

“Our Arts & Economic Prosperity® series demonstrates that the arts are an economic and employment powerhouse both locally and across the nation,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “Leaders who care about community and economic vitality can feel good about choosing to invest in the arts. Nationally as well as locally, the arts mean business.”

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 over 300 Arts & Economic Prosperity® 5 study partners, visit

About the Arts Council of Indianapolis:

The Arts Council of Indianapolis fosters meaningful engagement in the arts by nurturing a culture where artists and arts organizations thrive. The Arts Council is an organization that advocates for the need and importance of broad community funding and support for a thriving arts scene; innovates by constantly pursuing and promoting innovative ideas and programs that better serve the area, its artists, and arts organizations; and connects artists, audiences, businesses, foundations, and arts and cultural organizations with opportunities to explore and expand central Indiana’s creative vitality.

The Arts Council owns and operates two performance and exhibition spaces, the Indianapolis Artsgarden (attached to Circle Centre Mall) and Gallery 924 (at 924 N. Pennsylvania Street). The Arts Council allocates public funding to arts and cultural organizations through a competitive grant program; offers fellowship opportunities including the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship, the Transformational Impact Fellowship, and the Robert D. Beckmann, Jr. Emerging Artist Fellowship; provides programs, services, and technical assistance for artists and arts organizations; and manages the city’s public art program. The Indy Arts Guide provides a comprehensive arts calendar featuring thousands of events, performances, and exhibitions throughout central Indiana. For more information on the Arts Council, call (317) 631-3301 or visit online at

Connect with the Arts Council of Indianapolis on Facebook/indyarts, Twitter and Instagram @artscouncilindy, and online at


Danielle M. Dove | Director of Marketing & Community Engagement

Arts Council of Indianapolis

924 N. Pennsylvania Street | Indianapolis, IN 46204-1021
phone: 317.631.3301     fax: 317.624.0246     web:

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