The Economic Impact of the Arts in Guilford County

Guilford County’s Nonprofit Arts and Culture Industry Generates $162 Million in Economic Activity and Supports 5,963 Jobs Annually in a New Report from Americans for the Arts

Arts & Culture Industry Returns $15,592,000 in Revenue to Local and State Coffers

For Release:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 5pm

 WASHINGTON, D.C. — ArtsGreensboro today announced new economic impact data showing that Guilford County’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $162.2 million in annual economic activity—supporting 5,963 full-time equivalent jobs, and generating $15,592,000 in local and state government revenues. The new report:  Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) is the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States, and was conducted and published 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 $67,062,726 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 $56,346,000 in household income for local residents and $5,308,000 in local and state government revenues.

“The arts are a powerful force – they engage, challenge and inspire us, bring our community physically together, and provide a quality of life that attracts and retains professionals and businesses” said ArtsGreensboro President & CEO Tom Philion in making the announcement. “But this new report also shows another side – the arts are a remarkable economic engine for our region with far-reaching impact. This data shows that the arts are a very sound investment, with the ROI to back it up.”

Arts council and community catalyst ArtsGreensboro coordinated the study for Guilford County, conducting surveys at events and gathering data during 2016 from 70 non-profit arts and cultural organizations across the county. The figures used for AEP5 are from 2015.

Nationwide, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 reveals that the nonprofit arts industry produces $166.3 billion in economic activity every year, resulting in $27.5 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues. In addition, it supports 4.6 million full-time equivalent jobs.

“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.”

Arts Industry Boon for Local Businesses

In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit arts and culture industry leverages $95,171,867 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 Guilford County, these dollars support 3,549 full-time equivalent jobs and generate $10,284,000 in local and state government revenues.

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, visit