(Joplin, MO) – Connect2Culture (C2C), Joplin’s community arts agency, announced the findings from Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) study during a press conference on Thursday, October 12, 2023, in the Beshore Performance Hall at the Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex (212 West 7th Street, Joplin, MO 64801).
AEP6 is an economic and social impact study of the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry. It is the largest and most inclusive study of its kind, providing detailed findings on 373 regions across the nation and representing rural, suburban, and large urban communities. As Joplin’s community arts agency, C2C participated on behalf of the City of Joplin to shed light on the economic and social impact of our community’s nonprofit arts and culture sector. For more than a year, C2C collected 800+ audience-intercept surveys from a variety of arts and cultural events.
TOP AEP6 TAKEAWAYS in the City of Joplin:
- Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) is an economic and social impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry. In the City of Joplin, the sector generated $5.9 million in economic activity during 2022—$2.6 million in spending by arts and culture organizations and an additional $3.3 million in event-related expenditures by their audiences. That economic activity supported 96 jobs, provided $3.1 million in personal income to residents, and generated $925,485 in tax revenue to local, state, and federal governments.
- Nonprofit arts and culture organizations are businesses. They employ people locally, purchase supplies and services from nearby businesses, and engage in the marketing and promotion of their cities and regions. Their very act of doing business—creating, presenting, exhibiting, engaging—has a positive economic impact and improves community well-being. In the City of Joplin, nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent an estimated $2.6 million which supported 53 jobs and generated $526,184 in local, state, and federal government revenue.
- Arts and culture drives commerce to local businesses. When people attend a cultural event, they often make an outing of it—dining at a restaurant, paying for parking or public transportation, enjoying dessert after the show, and returning home to pay for child or pet care. Overall, in the City of Joplin, attendees spend $25.42 per person per event, beyond the cost of admission. These dollars represent vital income for local merchants and a value-add with which few industries can compete.
- Arts and culture strengthens the visitor economy. In the City of Joplin, 19.4% of attendees are nonlocal visitors who traveled from outside Jasper and Newton Counties; they spend an average of $40.74. Additionally, 88.2% 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 local residents—and their discretionary dollars—in the community. When attendees were asked what they would have done if the event where they were surveyed had not been available, 56.2% of attendees who live in Jasper and Newton Counties said they would have “traveled to a different community to attend a similar arts or cultural activity.”
- Arts and culture organizations contribute to community pride in the City of Joplin.
- 90.4% 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.”
- 85.7% agree that “I would feel a great sense of loss if this activity or venue were no longer available.”
- 82.4% agree that the venue or facility where they were surveyed is “an important pillar for me within my community.”
“Kudos to the resilience of Joplin, Missouri’s arts and culture community and their counterparts nationwide! Despite the profound challenges brought on by the pandemic, this study underscores how our industry perseveres, inspiring our communities and fortifying our economies. It reaffirms that the arts now more than ever require our unwavering support, as we patiently await the return of fully engaged audiences,” says Emily Frankoski, Executive Director, Connect2Culture.
The full study will be made available within the next week. A two-page summary of findings is currently available for download.
Nationally, the nonprofit arts industry generated $151.7 billion of economic activity in 2022 — $73.3 billion in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $78.4 billion in event-related expenditures by their audiences. This activity supported 2.6 million jobs and generated $29.1 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments.
“We are in a time…when many leaders feel challenged to fund the arts. Shrinking budgets, mandates to prioritize jobs and economic growth, and pressing community development issues make for difficult decision making,” said Randy Cohen, Vice President of research at Americans for the Arts. “To those leaders, Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 brings a welcome message: when you invest in the arts and culture, you are investing in an industry that strengthens your economy and builds more livable communities.”
Connect2Culture (C2C) is a not-for-profit arts organization founded in 2009 to enhance community through culture. Unlike any organization in the Joplin area, C2C is a respected community arts agency, a champion of the Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, and a performing arts presenter. C2C strives to expand audience and resources needed to “ignite a passion for the arts, culture, and entertainment” in the Joplin area.