Once every five years, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council partners with Americans for the Arts to conduct Arts & Economic Prosperity, an economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in the Lehigh Valley. The results of this research clearly demonstrates that the arts mean big business in the region.
Currently, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, in cooperation with the Lehigh Valley Partnership, is hosting the “Whose Business is the Arts? “ public forum to release the results of the data and what that means for the Lehigh Valley. Ninety-eight nonprofit arts and cultural organizations submitted data for Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study.
Lehigh Valley Arts = Business & Jobs
- The 2017 economic impact study of the region’s nonprofit arts industry revealed a $186 million industry—one that provides 6,908 full-time jobs and generates $18.8 million in state and local taxes annually.
- The creative industries number 1,405 nonprofit and for-profit businesses and employ 7,714 employees – comprising 3.8% of all businesses and 2.3% of all employees in the region.
|Date of Report||2003||2007||2012||2017|
|ATTENDANCE: RESIDENTS / NONRESIDENTS||2.25M / 1.2M||2.6M / 1.1M||3.35M / 1.68M||2.5M / 1.14M|
|STUDY||Arts & Economic Prosperity II||Arts & Economic Prosperity III||Arts & Economic Prosperity IV||Arts & Economic Prosperity V|
|# OF PARTICIPANTS||76||88||91||98|
|LOCAL GOV’T REVENUE||$2.7M||$6.8M||$8.2M||$7.1M|
|STATE GOV’T REVENUE||$7.6M||$11.1M||$13.1M||$11.7M|
Whose Business is the Arts?
On Friday, September 8, 2017, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council and the Lehigh Valley Partnership will co-sponsor an important public forum on the arts, the economy and our community. Whose Business is the Arts? will bring together leaders from business, the arts, charitable foundations and local governments to assess the state of the nonprofit arts and culture from a Lehigh Valley-wide perspective.
Stimulating a dialogue to promote sustainability for the nonprofit arts and culture industry and foster stronger alliances between the arts, business, foundation and government sectors.
“Size is just one measurement of impact. In addition to providing economic vitality, cultural nonprofits cultivate a level of community engagement that is invaluable to the region’s health and welfare.” – Randall Forte
Friday, September 8, 2017 | 8:00am to 11:30am
DeSales University | Center Valley, PA
According to U.S. Census data estimates from 2012, the number of non-institutionalized people with disabilities living in the Lehigh Valley is 81,000, or 12.7%, which represents a significant number of potential new audiences for the cultural community.
Since 2013, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council has been collaborating with the Lehigh Valley Partnership for a Disability Friendly Community to present Arts & Access, a yearlong celebration commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act through the lens of the arts.
In preparation for the celebration, the Arts Council and the Partnership conducted an audit of current accessibility practices in the region in 2014. The results showed a significant need to provide training to cultural organizations and build more awareness of the challenges and barriers that exist for people with disabilities to participate in cultural events.
The surveys indicate that less than 13% of the cultural groups offer open captioning, sign language interpreters, audio description, and Braille printed materials. Only 16.7% offer large print brochures; and 29% offer assistive listening devices.
Arts & Access evolved from the work in the field and the relationships that both the Arts Council and the Partnership have nurtured to create a more inclusive region. The existing infrastructure, the power of the arts to bring people together, and the upcoming 25th Anniversary of ADA—all of these factors support the timing of this endeavor.
GOALS of Arts & Access:
- Expand cultural access to all people with disabilities;
- Help cultural Nonprofits build audiences for their events; and
- Promote the benefits of inclusion by telling the stories of how engagement in the arts is transformative.