by Minnie Elwood

Have you seen our volunteers at arts and culture events recently, collecting questionnaires from audience members about their spending habits? Then you’ve seen a major national study in action, with results that will reverberate nationwide.

Houston is participating in Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, a study measuring the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences. Conducted every five years by Americans for the Arts, 2016 represents the fourth time our city has participated in the research. Alongside Houston, more than 300 partners (across all 50 states and the District of Columbia) have joined the effort.

Locally, Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) volunteers are surveying the 10-county Greater Houston area and distributing questionnaires. These short, anonymous surveys ask how much money audience members are spending on meals, parking/transportation, retail items and related expenses. The results, to be released in June 2017, will show the economic impact of the sector in Houston and throughout the country.

Past research has shown the nonprofit arts and culture sector to be an economic powerhouse for Greater Houston. During fiscal year 2010 alone, the sector generated $977.7 million in annual economic activity within the 10-county region.

During that time, nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent an additional $414.6 million, dollars which rippled out into the greater community as salaries, contracts, supplies and more. In short, the arts mean business, and the latest research could show that even more strongly, encouraging leaders to further invest in the arts.

Our volunteers will continue to be out in force throughout 2016; if you attend an event where questionnaires are distributed, please be sure to fill one out. Interested in joining the surveying effort? Give 1-2 hours of your time and help us! Your participation could continue to strengthen Houston’s arts for years to come! Click here to sign up for an upcoming event.

You may also like

Leave a Comment