Columbia Arts & Economic Impact 5 Study (2016)

AEP5 Columbia dataThe Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) national economic impact study provides evidence that the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in the City of Columbia—one that generates $7.7 million in total economic activity. This spending—$1.3 million by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and an additional $6.4 million in event-related spending by their audiences—was reported by seven local organizations. You may access the City of Columbia AEP5 Study Results here.

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 local lodgings. In the City of Columbia, these dollars support 213 full-time equivalent jobs, which generates $3.7 million in household income to local residents and delivers $810,000 in local and state government revenue.

The City of Columbia Arts Council led local efforts. They collected 534 surveys from audiences attending events at the seven participating local nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, and coordinated financial and program data collection from the organizations. 

The study reported that there were 282,326 nonprofit arts and culture attendees in City of Columbia in 2015, 81 percent of who were residents. Of the nonresident survey respondents, 69 percent indicated that the primary purpose of their visit to the County was “specifically to attend this arts/cultural event.” Nonresident attendees spent an average of 94 percent more per person than local attendees ($36.92 vs. $19.05) as a result of their attendance to cultural events.

The study shows that arts and culture help retain local dollars: 48 percent of local resident attendees said they would have “traveled to a different community to attend a similar cultural event” if the event was not taking place locally.

The Tennessee Arts Commission worked with 25 local partners and nine development districts to produce a statewide report and customized city, county and regional reports. Data was collected from 642 participating nonprofit organizations across the state and included 14,915 audience participation surveys. The study does not include numbers from individual artists or for-profit arts, music and culture businesses.

The study demonstrates that nonprofit arts and culture proves a significant industry in Tennessee and the City of Columbia - supporting jobs, generating local and state revenue, and driving tourism.

Nationwide, the AEP5 reveals that the nonprofit arts and culture industry produces $166.3 billion in economic activity every year. In addition, it supports 4.6 million full-time equivalent jobs and generates $96.07 billion in household income.

Additional materials include the Columbia AEP5 study brochure and AEP5 Study Summary