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Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Study

The City of Providence’s  nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $205,780,766 in annual economic activity in Providence—supporting 5,115 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $20,934,000 in local and state government revenues, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 national economic impact study. The most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.

Results show that nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent $93,832,555  during fiscal year 2015. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services and acquire assets within their community. Those dollars, in turn, generated $121,255,000 in household income for local residents and $20,934,000 in local and state government revenues.

“In Providence, the immense impact of the creative economy is clear. Arts activity creates and sustains jobs for our residents, generates millions in revenue, and makes us a destination for tourists,” said Jorge Elorza, Mayor of Providence. “As the Creative Capital, the arts help us attract and retain businesses and have revitalized our neighborhoods.”


“The benefits of Providence’s vibrant arts community ripple throughout our local economy,” said Stephanie Fortunato, Director of Providence’s Department of Art, Culture + Tourism. “The diverse cultural and artistic experiences stewarded by our nonprofit cultural organizations create jobs, opportunities for visitors and locals alike to spend time here, and are critical to our city’s vitality.”

Cover of Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Report | Download Full Report Here

In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit arts and culture industry leverages $111,948,211 in event-related spending by its audiences. As a result of attending a cultural event, attendees often eat dinner in local restaurants, pay for parking, buy gifts and souvenirs, and pay a babysitter. What’s more, attendees from out of town often stay overnight in a local hotel. In Providence these dollars support 5,115 full-time equivalent jobs and generate over $20.9M in local and state government revenues.

“This study demonstrates that the arts are an economic and employment powerhouse both locally and across the nation,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “A vibrant arts and culture industry helps local businesses thrive and helps local communities become stronger and healthier places to live. Leaders who care about community and economic vitality can feel good about choosing to invest in the arts. Nationally as well as locally, the arts mean business.”

The City of Providence was one of 341 study regions to participate in the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study conducted by Americans for the Arts. This is the third time the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism (AC+T) has partnered with the Americans for the Arts to administer this research study locally. The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study was conducted by Americans for the Arts and supported by The Ruth Lilly Fund of Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts’ local, regional, and statewide project partners contributed both time and financial support to the study. Financial information from organizations was collected in partnership with DataArts™, using a new online survey interface. For a full list of the communities who participated in the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study, please CLICK HERE.

AC+T ensures the continued development of a vibrant and creative city by integrating arts and culture into community life while showcasing Providence as an international cultural destination. The Department undertakes research in order to inform policy decisions, strategic collaborations, community investments, and initiatives that will amplify the presence of arts, culture and creativity in Providence. Arts & Economic Prosperity 5: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations & Their Audiences in the City of Providence, RI  is available for DOWNLOAD HERE.


Individual Providence arts and culture organizations can calculate their economic impact using Americans for the Arts’ calculatorPlease CLICK HERE.

Americans for the Arts Economic Impact Calculator | Download Here


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