Study shows Oregon’s arts and culture industry generates $687 million in economic impact

Oregon’s arts and culture sector contributed $687 million and 22,299 jobs to Oregon’s economy in fiscal year 2015, according to the latest Arts & Economic Prosperity study from Americans for the Arts. Released June 17 at the group’s national conference in San Francisco, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 includes first-time data from rural Oregon.

“Arts and culture play a key role in healthy, prosperous communities, particularly in rural Oregon,” said Chris Harder, director of Business Oregon. “While this study highlights the significant impact of artists and cultural organizations on local economies, the resulting vibrant communities are places that are more attractive for overall business growth and investment.”

The data reveals that arts and culture jobs across Oregon generated $469.5 million in household income to local residents and delivered $53 million in local and state government revenue. In addition, the 9,911,552 people who attended arts and culture events spent an average of $42.59 per event, excluding the cost of the admission ticket. Event spending, which totaled $322,956,808, includes meals, parking, souvenirs, babysitting and hotel stays.

“This is the most comprehensive data we’ve ever had on how vital arts and culture are to Oregon’s statewide economic prosperity,” said Brian Rogers, Oregon Arts Commission executive director. “Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 is evidence that the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in the State of Oregon. It sends a strong signal that when we support the arts, we not only enhance our quality of life, but we also invest in the State of Oregon’s economic well-being.”

While previous studies have focused only on Portland and Eugene, a statewide consortium led by the Arts Commission enabled Baker, Clatsop, Crook, Deschutes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and Yamhill counties as well as Ashland, Corvallis, Eugene and the Portland Metro area (Northeastern and Central Oregon did combined county studies) to participate.

Spending by arts and cultural organizations and audience members in the Portland Metro area was $330.4 million, up 30 percent since the last Arts & Economic Prosperity study in 2010. The spending outside of the Portland Metro area (Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties) totaled $357 million.

“We are so grateful to the Arts Commission for making it possible for us to participate,” said Sharon Morgan, who was “stunned” to learn that arts and culture spending in Yamhill County totaled $45 million. Morgan, a member of the Yamhill County Cultural Coalition, organized the survey for her county.

Click Here to read detailed reports for each of the Oregon regions and cities that participated on the Oregon Arts Commission website.

The Arts &Economic Prosperity 5 Study was conducted by Americans for the Arts and supported by the Ruth Lilly Fund of the Americans for the Arts. Local, regional and statewide partners, such as the Oregon Arts Commission and its 11 survey partners, contributed time and financial support to the study. Financial information from partner organizations was collected in partnership with DataArts. A full list of the 341 communities who participated in the study is posted on the Americans for the Arts website.

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