The Greater Augusta Arts Council announced the results of the Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) survey project at the annual Legislative Luncheon hosted Thursday, November 9. The results reveal that arts and culture generate $57.8 million in direct economic activity in the Greater Augusta Area! Randy Cohen, Vice President for Americans for the Arts (AFTA), presented on the project at the luncheon, which studied the contribution of the nonprofit arts industry in the Greater Augusta area to our local economy.
The Economic Impact of the Arts in Richmond and Columbia Counties
According to the AEP5 national economic impact study, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $57.8 million in annual economic activity in the Greater Augusta Area – supporting 2,405 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $4.7 million in local and state government revenues. Results show that nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent $37.9 million during fiscal year 2015. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services and acquire assets within their community. Those dollars, in turn, generated $28.3 million in household income for local residents and $2.9 million in local and state government revenues.
About the Study
AEP5, the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in the US, was conducted by Americans for the Arts in 2016. The Greater Augusta Arts Council and Columbia County joined the study as local partners in order to explore the economic impact of the local arts nonprofits and events. Both Richmond and Columbia Counties were included in the research in order to obtain a well-rounded portrait of the arts in our community. Led by Pax Bobrow, Project Manager for the Greater Augusta Arts Council, volunteers took surveys of audience members at arts and culture events, and nonprofit arts organizations provided in-depth financial data to show their spending and profits. These surveys were compiled by Americans for the Arts in a full report.