The Let's Make Arts Count survey information and results

AEP6 Study Results

The results are in! Measuring the economic and social impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences in 2022, the main takeaways from the study include the following topics and economic impacts:

Total arts industry spending:

  • Organizations: $153,072,316
  • Audiences: $234,390,974
  • Total: $387,463,290

Total economic impact of spending by arts and culture organizations and their audiences:

  • Employment (Jobs): 6,764
  • Personal Income Paid to Residents: $260,142,550
  • Local Tax Revenue (city and county): $11,242,603
  • State Tax Revenue: $11,752,276
  • Federal Tax Revenue: $53,088,941
  • Local attendees: $136,381,310
  • Nonlocal attendees: $98,009,664
  • All attendees: $234,390,974

Nonprofit arts and culture audiences spend an average of $53.68 per person, per event.

View local Hillsborough County summary results and full report and national survey results.

Making Arts Count

Patrons of nonprofit arts and cultural events can help measure the economic impact of the arts community in Hillsborough County. The Arts Council teamed up with Americans for the Arts for the sixth nationwide Arts & Economic Prosperity study.

The study is conducted approximately every five years to gauge the economic impact (on employment, government revenue, and household income) of spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and the event-related spending by their audiences.

During this study, Hillsborough County and Americans for the Arts had a specific emphasis to include participants representing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American) identifying communities—a segment of the nonprofit arts and culture sector that has been underrepresented in past studies.

The study was conducted in two major parts, audience-intercept surveys and reporting from eligible nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. The results are expected to be published in September 2023.

Audience-intercept survey (May 2022-May 2023)

Audiences across Hillsborough County were asked to complete a brief and completely anonymous 13 question survey at a wide variety of nonprofit arts and cultural performances, events, exhibits, experiences, and facilities.

Most of the participating cultural organizations provided randomly selected patrons with QR codes or urls to take the survey on-site in English or Spanish before, during, or after a performance or event. Some venues used volunteers or staff to facilitate surveys using paper or tablets.

Attendees were highly encouraged to participate when asked to complete a survey.

The collected information was critical to the local and national study effort and helped provide valuable information on the economic impact of the arts for our community.

Eligible non-profit arts and cultural organizations that were eligible to participate in collecting the audience surveys included:

  • Traditional nonprofit arts and culture organizations, programs, events, venues, and facilities (e.g., performing arts, visual arts, museums, etc.)
  • Municipally owned/operated institutions, programs, venues, and facilities (e.g., a city-operated museum or gallery)
  • Unincorporated community arts and culture organizations and programs (i.e., without a formal legal status)
  • Fiscally sponsored arts and culture organizations, programs, events, venues, and facilities
  • Arts and cultural programs embedded in non-arts organizations (e.g., faith-based organizations, community/senior centers, health facilities, libraries, etc.)
  • Living collections such as botanical gardens, zoos, and aquariums
  • Historical and heritage societies (and other historical/heritage organizations or sites)
  • Private arts councils
  • Municipal arts agencies (e.g., an arts commission or a department of cultural affairs)

Traditionally, for-profit/commercial businesses and individual artists are excluded.

Nonprofit arts and cultural organization reports (January-March 2023)

Hillsborough County and Americans for the Arts deployed an organization survey to eligible nonprofit arts and culture organizations, programs, and facilities that are located within Hillsborough County.

The survey collected information about each organization's revenues, expenditures, physical (in-person) attendance, virtual attendance, staff size, and volunteers.

The survey also included a set of diversity and inclusion questions designed to identify organizations that primarily serve a community of color and organizations that have a chief executive who identifies as a person of color.

Arts and the economy

According to Americans for the Arts, the arts are economic catalysts—strengthening the economy by creating jobs, generating government revenue, and driving tourism.

  • Nonprofit arts and culture organizations are businesses. They employ people locally, purchase goods and services from within the community, are members of their Chambers of Commerce, and attract tourists to their regions.
  • The arts drive commerce to local businesses. The arts, unlike most industries, leverage significant amounts of event-related spending by their audiences. In 2017, arts attendees spent $31.47 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and lodging—vital income for local businesses.
  • Arts travelers are ideal tourists. They stay longer and spend more to seek out authentic cultural experiences. One-third of attendees travel from outside the county in which the activity takes place and spend an average of $48 per person. (69% say they traveled specifically to attend the activity.)
  • Small investments. Big returns. In 2017, the combined $5 billion in direct arts funding by local, state, and federal governments yielded $27.5 billion in government revenue

More information

For questions about the Arts & Economic Prosperity study contact the Arts Council at or (813) 571-6995. 

Last Modified: 2/6/2024, 5:31:59 PM

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