The City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) recently participated in Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, a national study measuring the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences, which demonstrated that the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates more than $103 million in annual economic activity in El Paso.
“When businesses look at El Paso, they consider what type of quality of life their employees will have in our community. By investing in arts and culture, El Paso is demonstrating how this sector of our economy completes the big picture of what we have to offer,” said Deputy City Manager for Economic Development and Tourism Cary Westin.
The industry also supports 4,193 full-time jobs and generates $5.9 million in local and state government revenues, an increase of more than 13 percent from the original study in 2007.
This includes $24 million in economic impact to local bars and restaurants and $1.8 million in economic impact to hotels.
“The arts are engrained in the culture of El Paso, and it is big part of who we are as a community,” said Director of MCAD Tracey Jerome. “This study demonstrates how supporting the arts has a direct correlation with the economic development and growth in our community.”
In order to create a complete picture of how arts and culture activities affects the local economy, the MCAD collected detailed financial data about local nonprofit arts and culture organizations such as theater and dance companies, museums, festivals, and arts education organizations.
The department also collected surveys from attendees at arts events using a short, anonymous questionnaire that asks how much money they spent on items such as meals, parking and transportation, and retail shopping specifically as a result of attending the event.
The most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States, Arts & Economic Prosperity V was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.