Fairfax County’s Nonprofit Arts and Culture Industry Generates Over $271 Million

By Editorial Team on July 18, 2017

The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates over $271 million in annual economic activity in Fairfax County, supporting 6,220 full-time equivalent jobs according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 national economic impact study. The most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.

Results show that Fairfax nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent approximately $173 million during fiscal year 2015. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services and acquire assets within their community. Those dollars, in turn, generated more than $124 million in household income for local residents and over $19 million in local and state government revenues.

“This comprehensive, year-long study demonstrates the impressive economic impact of the arts in Fairfax County and the Cities of Fairfax and Falls Church” Linda S. Sullivan, President and CEO of the Arts Council of Fairfax County. “Not only do the arts enhance our community’s quality of life, they generate millions in revenue for local businesses and government, and as the arts and culture organizations in Fairfax County grow, other industries in the County benefit from this growth.”

“This study demonstrates that the arts are an economic and employment powerhouse both locally and across the nation,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “A vibrant arts and culture industry helps local businesses thrive and helps local communities become stronger and healthier places to live. Leaders who care about community and economic vitality can feel good about choosing to invest in the arts. Nationally as well as locally, the arts mean business.”

“In Fairfax County, the arts industry is vital to the economic health of the business community.” Said Michael Coogan, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Leidos. “With more than $271 million coming into our County as a direct result of arts and cultural activities, the community is able to reinvest these expenditures in other local businesses and dedicate funding to enhancing experiences in the County for residents and visitors.”

In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit arts and culture industry leverages over $98 million in event-related spending by its audiences. 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.

The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study was conducted by Americans for the Arts and supported by The Ruth Lilly Fund of Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts’ local, regional, and statewide project partners contributed both time and financial support to the study. Financial information from organizations was collected in partnership with DataArts™, using a new online survey interface. For a full list of the communities who participated in the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study, visit www.AmericansForTheArts.org/AEP5Partners.

(via the Arts Council of Fairfax County. Photo by Vita Images.)