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RSW Living Magazine

Study Shows Impact of the Arts on Jobs, Government and More in Fort Myers & Surrounding Areas

Jul 08, 2017 12:15PM ● By Kevin

Courtesy of the Alliance for the Arts Facebook page.

Fort Myers, Lee County, Sarasota County and Collier County were included in a report recently released by nonprofit organization The Americans for the Arts. The report is called Arts & Economic Prosperity 5: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts & Cultural Organizations and Their Audiences and it was released in June.

It is a 542-page document looking at metrics such as: "how much cultural organizations and their audiences spend, how many jobs they support and how much they pump into local, state and the national coffers," as reported by Jennifer Reed of Gulfshore Life. "The study relied on audience surveys and financial data provided by 14,439 organizations in 341 counties and municipalities, including Collier, Lee and the City of Fort Myers."

According to the Reed's recap of the report:
  • "The arts and culture sector supported 2,923 full-time equivalent jobs in Collier and 3,875 in Lee (1,389 of which were in the City of Fort Myers).
  • "Lee County arts organizations and their audiences spent $140 million; Collier’s spent $107.7 million.
  • "Direct expenditures by Lee and Collier arts organizations and audiences generated $3.6 million in local government revenue for Collier and $7.6 million in for Lee. A total of $18.4 million from the two counties went to the state."
As for Sarasota County, local arts and cultural organizations added $295 million into the economy in 2015. This was a 64-percent increase from $180 million in 2010, according to Carrie Seidman's article in the Herald-Tribune.

"Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion of economic activity during 2015—$63.8 billion in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $102.5 billion in event-related expenditures by their audiences," according to "This activity supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments (a yield well beyond their collective $5 billion in arts allocations)."

For more information, visit the official website of Americans for the Arts.