The Arts in New Jersey are a Multimillion-Dollar Business
The nonprofit arts and culture sector in New Jersey is a $519.8 million industry, supporting 14,342 full-time equivalent jobs and yielding $41 million in local and state government revenue.
That's according to Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, a national economic impact study released Saturday by Americans for the Arts.
ArtPride New Jersey worked with Americans for the Arts and five local partners – Cape May, Cumberland, Mercer and Morris counties and the City of Newark – to examine the financial power of N.J.’s cultural community, and results show that state nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent $296.1 million during fiscal year 2015.
This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies and contract for services.
Those dollars, in turn, generate $340 million in household income for local residents and $41 million in state and local government revenues.
“New Jersey’s arts create a huge return on investment,” states Adam Perle, President & CEO of the ArtPride New Jersey Foundation. “We already know that the arts bring pride to New Jerseyans and help our students learn, and this study confirms their extraordinary economic value. The arts build livable communities that are also attractive places to visit. The arts truly mean business in N.J.”
In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit arts and culture industry leverages nearly $224 million in event-related spending by its audiences. Cultural event attendees often eat dinner in local restaurants, pay for parking, buy gifts and souvenirs and pay a babysitter, and those from out of town often stay overnight in a local hotel.
“We have long believed arts and culture fuel our communities and make our lives better,” said Chris Daggett, President & CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. “The study underscores the real economic benefits of the arts industry, especially as redevelopment that weaves arts and culture into everyday life is transforming cities like Newark, Trenton, New Brunswick and others across the state.
"The Dodge Foundation is proud to support the arts in New Jersey and has a vision of a future where its investment assures that all residents have access to diverse, inclusive cultural experiences."
Nationally, the industry generated $166.3 billion of economic activity—$63.8 billion in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $102.5 billion in event-related expenditures by their audiences. This activity supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in revenue to local, state and federal governments – a yield well beyond their collective $5 billion in arts allocations.
The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study was conducted by Americans for the Arts and supported by The Ruth Lilly Fund of Americans for the Arts.
In New Jersey, the study was funded by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and an anonymous donor.
Financial information from organizations was collected in partnership with DataArts using a new online survey interface. For more information on the national Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study, visit www.AmericansForTheArts.org/AEP5Partners.