AEP6: The US Arts & Economic Prosperity Study
Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), published in October 2023, is the sixth national study of the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in the United States. The study is conducted approximately every five years to gauge the economic impact (on employment, government revenue, and household income) of spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and the event-related spending by their audiences. Administered by Americans for the Arts, AEP6 examined the economic power of the arts and culture in 373 regions from across all states and Puerto Rico, ranging in population from 4,000 to four million, and representing rural, suburban, and large urban communities.
In Vermont, the Vermont Arts Council, Paramount Theatre in Rutland, and Burlington City Arts partnered to administer the study’s field research in 2022 and 2023 through audience-intercept surveys and surveys of nonprofit arts and culture organizations. A total of 120 nonprofit organizations in Vermont collected data at live events at libraries, music performances, theaters, and other venues over several seasons in 2022.
What’s Your Organization’s Economic Impact?
Use our economic impact calculator to measure your organization’s total economic contribution. Input your organization’s total expenditures to determine your economic impact in terms of number of jobs, household income, local government revenue, state government revenue, and federal government tax revenue.
The calculator is customized for the State of Vermont by Americans for the Arts based on AEP6 survey data that was collected from organizations and audiences in Vermont.
AEP6 sends a strong signal that when we support the arts, we are investing in both economic and community well-being. Nationally, the survey found that:
- In 2022, nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences generated $151.7 billion in economic activity nationally— $73.3 billion in spending by cultural organizations, which leveraged an additional $78.4 billion in event-related spending by their audiences.
- The economic activity’s impact is far reaching, supporting 2.6 million jobs across the country and generating $29.1 billion in tax revenue to local, state, and federal governments.
- The survey also looked at social impact, and found, overwhelmingly that audiences deeply value the work of nonprofit arts and culture organizations, with 86% of respondents saying that arts and culture is “important to their community’s quality of life and livability.”
In Vermont, the sector generated $158.6 million in economic activity during 2022—$103.2 million in spending by arts and culture organizations and an additional $55.4 million in event-related expenditures by their audiences. That economic activity supported 2,712 jobs, provided $112.8 million in personal income to residents, and generated $34.8 million in tax revenue to local, state, and federal governments.
Audiences and Local Economies
There were 1.4 million attendees to arts and culture events put on by nonprofits in Vermont. 75% of those attendees were local, 25% were nonlocal.
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 Vermont, attendees spent $34.53 per person per event, beyond the cost of admission.
Additionally, arts and culture strengthen the visitor economy:
- 24.8% of attendees were nonlocal visitors who traveled from outside the State of Vermont
- They spend an average of $51.69.
- 79.4% 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.
Arts and Culture Contribute to Community Pride
Arts and culture organizations contribute to community pride in Vermont.
- 87.2% of arts and culture attendees agreed that the activity or venue where they were surveyed “is inspiring a sense of pride in this neighborhood or community.”
- 85.8% agreed that “I would feel a great sense of loss if this activity or venue were no longer available.”
- 80.8% agreed that the venue or facility where they were surveyed is “an important pillar for me within my community.”
Comparisons to Previous Survey
The previous study in 2017, AEP5, documented that Vermont’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $123 million in economic activity. For AEP6, the following is noteworthy:
- Industry expenditures are up around 30%
- 36% fewer jobs
- Overall attendance is stable
- Attendance by locals is down 10%
- Attendance by nonlocals is up 50%
- Spending per attendee is up 27%
*Important* Americans for the Arts notes that because it changed the study’s methodology from previous year’s studies, comparisons to previous studies are less reliable. AEP6 represents a new benchmark in the AEP study series.
Read the full State of Vermont AEP6 Results.
For more information, visit aep6.americansforthearts.org/.