Skip to main content

Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 marks the first time this study has been completed statewide.

CACHE, the Arkansas Arts Council, and Arkansans for the Arts today announced that the state of Arkansas’ nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $306.4 million in economic activity in 2022. That economic activity–$202.1 million in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and $104.4 million in event-related spending by their audiences supported 4,800 jobs and generated $49,377,951 in local, state, and federal government revenue. Spending by arts and culture audiences generates valuable commerce to local merchants, a value-add that few other industries can compete with.

“AEP6 reminds us of how critical the arts and culture industry is to community well-being, neighborhood pride, and integrative empathy,” said Jeannette Balleza Collins, CACHE Board Co-Chair. “The data underscores the creative power of the arts to accelerate a common sense of belonging and stoke economic vibrancy, all the while highlighting how diverse representation makes Arkansas stronger.”

These findings are part of a nationwide study, Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), an economic and social impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts. Nationally, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) study reveals that America’s nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $151.7 billion industry—one that supports 2.6 million jobs and generates $29.1 billion in government revenue.

“Arts and culture organizations have a powerful ability to attract and hold dollars in the community longer. They employ people locally, purchase goods and services from nearby businesses, and produce the authentic cultural experiences that are magnets for visitors, tourists, and new residents,” said Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “When we invest in nonprofit arts and culture, we strengthen our economy and build more livable communities.”2

Key figures from Arkansas’ AEP6 study include:

  • Arkansas’ nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $104.4 million in event-related spending by its audiences.

  • The typical attendee spends $31.57 per person per event, not including the cost of admission.

  • 4.9% of arts and culture attendees were from outside the state of Arkansas. They spent an average of $56.40. All vital income for local merchants.

  • 92% of respondents agreed that the activity or venue they were attending was “a source of neighborhood pride for the community.”

  • 92% said they would “feel a sense of loss if that activity or venue was no longer available.”

“The state of arts and culture in Arkansas is strong,” said Jean Lacefield, President, Arkansans for the Arts Board of Directors. “The Arts and Economic Prosperity 6 study backs up, with data, what we already knew. When speaking to our elected lawmakers, government officials, and community leaders, being able to reference the real impact of the arts and culture and adjacent industries is vital. This report strengthens Arkansans for the Arts’ narrative that we must increase and continue to support public funding for arts and culture including artists and arts education.”

“The detailed findings of the AEP6 study provide valuable data on the true impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations on Arkansas’s economy," said Patrick Ralston, director of the Arkansas Arts Council. "Local arts organizations are economic engines in the truest sense that consistently bring an enormous return on investment even in rural areas of the state.  It is a privilege for the Arkansas Arts Council to stand with partners like CACHE, Arkansans for the Arts, and Americans for the Arts as we share the good news about our state’s thriving creative economy.”

AEP6 demonstrates the significant economic and social benefits that arts and culture bring to their communities, states, and the nation. By measuring arts and culture’s wide-ranging impact, public and private sector leaders can work together to secure funding and arts-friendly policies that shape more vibrant and equitable communities.

The full report can be found on our website here.