Jun 11, 2012

Study: Economic impact of Dane County arts scene is double comparable communities’

Excerpted from Wisconsin State Journal
By Gayle Worland

The amount of money that nonprofit arts and culture organizations in Dane County — and their audiences — poured into the local economy in 2010 was nearly double that of many other communities of comparable size, according to a new national study.

Groups ranging from tiny dance companies to the region’s symphony orchestra helped generate more than $145.5 million, compared to the median $78 million spent in similar communities with populations of 250,000 to 500,000 people, according to “Arts and Economic Prosperity IV,” touted as the largest study ever of its kind.

The study also found that audience members for arts events, performances and museum exhibitions in Dane County spent on average $26.21 beyond the price of a ticket for things such as transportation, meals and souvenirs. For attendees who come from outside Dane County, that additional spending figure rose to $43.78.

The $145 million economic input total “is exciting,” said MadREP interim executive vice president Jennifer Post Tyler, who along with other local officials will be unveiling the study results in a press conference Monday.

“It’s a recognition of how this sector has grown in our county,” she said. “And I think there’s still potential for these organizations to continue to generate more economic impact.”

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