The Economic Impact of the Arts on Greater Cincinnati
A significant portion of Cincinnati’s non-profit arts sector consists of the eighteen Fine Arts Fund Member and Associate Member organizations. The Member organizations are: Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Contemporary Arts Center, May Festival, and Taft Museum of Art. The Associate Member organizations include: Arts Consortium of Cincinnati, ArtWorks, Carnegie Visual + Performing Arts Center, The Children’s Theatre, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Fitton Center for Creative Arts, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, and Madcap Productions Puppet Theatre. This arts industry has a considerable economic impact on the Greater Cincinnati regional economy. The impact of the spending of these organizations and their audiences is the subject of this analysis.
What are the economic impacts of the arts?
- Combined, the eighteen Fine Arts Fund member organizations had a total annual economic impact of nearly $196 million on the Greater Cincinnati 1 economy in the 2005 fiscal year, including the generation of $72 million in household income and for 3,292 full and part-time workers in the area.
- The economic impact of arts production accounts for over $168 million of the total economic impact, including the generation of $63 million in household income and 2,864 full and part-time jobs.
- Related spending by out-of-town arts patrons on dining, lodging, etc., accounts for nearly $28 million of the total economic impact, which generates almost $9 million in household income, and supports 428 full and part-time jobs.
- Together, these economic activities generate over $5 million annually in income, property, and sales tax revenues for Hamilton County, the City of Cincinnati, and other taxing jurisdictions within the county.
- Through attraction of grants, contributions, and patrons from outside the area the arts bring $52 million in new money into the region, replenishing and expanding the Greater Cincinnati economy.
- In addition to a $196 million economic impact from their operations and related visitor spending, the Fine Arts Fund organizations have produced an average economic impact of $43 million annually from their capital expenditures over the past four fiscal years. As a result, their total economic impact has amounted to over $239 million annually.
How does the impact of the arts compare with that of other activities in Greater Cincinnati?
- Together, these organizations have over 1,400 employees. If all of these non-profit arts enterprises were combined in a single corporation, “The Arts” would be on the list of the 50 largest corporations (by employment) in the Cincinnati area. If the list were restricted to non-profit corporations, “The Arts” would be one of the largest fifteen, surpassed only by a few educational and healthcare organizations.
- When compared to other “recreational” enterprises, the total economic impact of the arts trails only that of Kings Island and the Cincinnati Reds. The impact of “The Arts” is greater than that of other popular attractions such as the Cincinnati Bengals.
- Total attendance recorded in the 2005 fiscal year exceeded 1.88 million, more than any other venue or event, with the exception of Kings Island and the Cincinnati Reds. Since 2001, attendance reported by the eighteen organizations combined has remained relatively unchanged.
Are there other impacts not measured by this study?
- This economic impact study does not measure non-economic benefits, but adheres to accepted methods of analyzing regional economic impacts. While such an approach will miss some advantages that the arts provide, it provides conservative estimates and minimizes the chances of overstating the actual impact.
- These arts organizations make a significant contribution to the vitality of the downtown area. Because most of them are located in the heart of Cincinnati, spending by the organizations themselves, as well as by both out-of-town and local patrons, is concentrated in the urban core. And the concentration of this spending results in a similar concentration of the jobs generated.
- The presence of these arts organizations is generally recognized as an important factor in the attractiveness of the Cincinnati area as a place to live and do business. The quality and quantity of the arts in Cincinnati contribute substantially to the area’s high scores in a wide variety of systems for rating places.
- The arts in Cincinnati also produce benefits such as enhanced education due to the presence of the arts when students attend museums and live performances. Educational programs by the member and associate member organizations account for about 29 percent of total attendance. In addition, the members of the arts community are involved in the life of the larger community and bring their artistic skills to a variety of Cincinnati activities, notably colleges, universities, and local school districts. These organizations also have positive spillover effects on other arts organizations that are not measured in this study.
- Finally, this study excludes three components of Fine Arts Fund-related activities. First, it omits the $2.2 million in fundraising, program, and administrative expenditures incurred annually by the Fine Arts Fund in support of local arts organizations. Second, it does not include the economic impact resulting from the Fine Arts Fund Grants Program, which provided over $330,000 for 79 projects and organizations. Third, it does not count the valuable contributions of time and in-kind services from individual volunteers and corporations.