Arts and culture are often thought of primarily as perks — a way to accent and enrich a city’s quality of life.
But a new study by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit advocacy group Americans for the Arts shows culture continues to be a boon for city and community coffers, too.
According to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 report released this month, arts and cultural organizations and audiences generated a total of $414,232,820 in the 2015 fiscal year for Broward County.
The 11,078 full-time jobs generated total wages of $268,867,000 for Broward residents, as well as a combined $40.1 million in taxes, fees and development funds for local and state government.
The study focused on nonprofit arts and cultural groups such as museums, symphonies, operas, ballet and dance troupes and historical societies.
“The data is clear,” Broward Cultural Division director Earl Bosworth said in a statement. “The arts are not a charity; they are an industry. While they support a quality of life that we all know and appreciate, the arts are also a significant economic driver in Broward County.”
Arts are even bigger revenue generators in Miami-Dade. The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs estimates nonprofit arts and cultural organizations have an annual economic impact of more than $1 billion and create 29,792 full-time jobs, with $953.5 million in household income to local residents.
“Even in a strong economy, some may perceive the arts as an unaffordable luxury,” said Jonathan Spector, president and CEO of the worldwide business intelligence source The Conference Board. “Fortunately, this rigorous report offers evidence that the nonprofit arts industry provides not just cultural benefits to our communities, but also makes significant positive economic contributions to the nation’s financial well-being regardless of the overall state of the economy.”