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Economic Development
Apr 1, 2024

The Arts Are Big Business in Fayetteville & Cumberland County! The Arts Create and Support Jobs, Generate and Sustain Revenue, and Build Community Vibrancy.

Sponsored Content provided by Kennon Jackson - Chief of Staff, The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County

The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County recently participated in the Arts and Economic Prosperity (AEP) Survey 6, an economic and social impact study of the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry. According to this study, Arts and Culture IS big business in Fayetteville and Cumberland County! 

  • Arts and Culture generated $72.2 million in economic activity in FY2022.
  • Arts and Culture organizations spent $44.3 million with an additional $27.8 million from event-related expenditures by their audiences.
  • Arts economic activity supports 1,111 jobs, provides $44.1 million in personal income to residents, and generates $9.5 million in tax revenue.

Arts and culture drives commerce to local businesses.

  • Attendees spend $30.44 per person per event, beyond the cost of admission - a value-add with which few industries can compete.

Arts and culture strengthen the visitor economy.

  • 22.3% of event attendees are nonlocal visitors who traveled from outside Cumberland County.
  • Non-local visitors spend an average of $41.37 per visitor beyond the cost of admission.
  • 74.1% of nonlocal attendees reported that the primary purpose of their visit was specifically to attend the performance, event, exhibit, venue, or facility where they were surveyed.

A vibrant arts and culture community keeps residents—and their discretionary dollars—in the community and instills community pride.

  • 54.6% of attendees who live in Cumberland County said they would have “traveled to a different community to attend a similar arts or cultural activity” if the event where they were surveyed was unavailable locally.
  • 88.0% of arts and culture attendees agree that the activity or venue where they were surveyed “is inspiring a sense of pride in this neighborhood or community.”
  • 82.5% agree that “I would feel a great sense of loss if this activity or venue were no longer available in the community.”
  • 80.5% agree that the venue or facility where they were surveyed is “an important pillar for me within my community.”

Every day, more than 100,000 nonprofit arts and culture organizations in the U.S. make their communities better places to live and work by beautifying cities, fueling creativity, celebrating diversity, and bringing joy to residents. Arts and culture organizations are also businesses. They employ people locally, purchase goods and services from nearby businesses, and produce the authentic cultural experiences that are magnets for visitors, tourists, and new residents.

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