A recent survey conducted by the City of Eugene asked citizens, “What Makes Eugene Special?” The top answer was community & culture, with many residents specifically citing the arts. As demonstrated by these results, the arts bring us inspiration and joy and make our community a beautiful place to live, work, and visit. But the arts do so much more.
Eugene is very excited to be participating in a national study by Americans for the Arts called Arts & Economic Prosperity, also known as AEP. The AEP Series was first started in 1994 and is conducted roughly every five years to capture the critical role nonprofit arts and culture organizations and events play in the United States economy. This is the third time that Eugene has participated in this research.
This study, done in partnership by the Arts & Business Alliance of Eugene, Lane Arts Council, and City of Eugene Cultural Services, will demonstrate that when we invest our dollars in the arts, we are not doing so at the expense of economic development. Rather, we are investing in an industry that strengthens our local economy. Arts organizations are businesses. They attract audiences, spur business development, support jobs, generate government revenue, and are the cornerstone of tourism.
Economic impact studies like the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 will expand the conversation about how many people view the arts. The last study, conducted in 2017, found that the arts and culture sector generated $62 million in economic activity in Eugene and supported 2,400 local full-time jobs, contributing twice as much to the local economy compared to similar-sized cities.
The ABAE believes that arts and business are deeply connected. The arts give us a forum to come together to share experiences and ideas, translating inspiration into economic and social benefits. This survey will help demonstrate the community benefits of investing in the arts.
Surveyors will be present at a variety of local arts events through April 30, 2023. The survey is open to residents and visitors ages 18 and older. If you attend an event where surveyors are present, please consider lending your voice to this critical work. The survey results will be shared with the community in September 2023.
Learn more about past AEP results here at artsbusinessalliance.org/economic-impact