Arts & Economic Prosperity IV

The economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences

The nonprofit arts and culture industry in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties generates more than $253 million in annual economic activity, according to Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, a national economic impact study. The study was conducted in 182 communities nationwide by Americans for the Arts, with local support from the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and Business for Culture & the Arts (BCA).

According to the study, the region’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent $152 million during fiscal year 2010. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services and acquire assets within their community. The industry also leverages more than $101 million in event-related spending by its audiences; as a result of attending a cultural event, attendees often eat dinner in local restaurants, pay for parking, buy gifts and souvenirs, and pay a babysitter. All combined, these dollars support 8,529 full-time equivalent jobs, generate $195 million in household income for local residents, and $21 million in local and state government revenues.

The study found the total attendance at arts and culture events in 2010 was 4.6 million, and that 16.3% of these were visitors from out of town. Nearly 70% of all visitors say that the primary reason for their trip is “specifically to attend this arts/culture event,” and visitors who stay overnight in a local hotel spend an average of $154.79 per person as a direct result of their attendance.

Download key findings

Download the full report