Vermont Arts Council

AEP6: The US Arts & Economic Prosperity Study


JAG Productions' Theater on the Hill stage and audience. Photo by Lars Blackmore.
A performance from JAG Productions’ Theatre on the Hill series at King Arthur Baking Company in 2021. Photo: Lars Blackmore. 

Read the latest update on our blog.

Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) is the sixth national study of the ecomomic 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 will examine the economic power of the arts and culture in 387 participating communities representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In Vermont, the Vermont Arts Council, Paramount Theatre in Rutland, and Burlington City Arts have partnered to administer the study’s field research in 2022 and 2023.

In 2017, the previous study, AEP5, documented that the nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion in economic activity (spending by organizations plus the event-related spending by their audiences), which supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in government revenue.

In Vermont, AEP5 found that nonprofit arts and culture is a $123 million industry supporting thousands of jobs (read the Vermont AEP5 results), demonstrating that an investment in the arts provides both cultural and economic benefits.

Timeline. Audience-intercept surveys will be collected from attendees to arts events in Vermont through April 2023. Nonprofit arts and culture organizations will be surveyed in 2023.

Results. National and local findings will be made public in September 2023. At that time, the Vermont Arts Council will receive a customized report on the unique economic impact results for our state, including the number of jobs that are supported and the amount of government revenue generated.

Centering Equity and Inclusion. Americans for the Arts is committed to addressing equity and inclusion as a critical component of the methodology, organizational participation, and collection of data for AEP6 by centering and representing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American) identifying communities—a segment of the nonprofit arts and culture sector that has been underrepresented in past studies. For the first time, AEP6 will require that the local and state research partners collect a portion of audience surveys from attendees at events hosted by arts and culture organizations that primarily serve communities of color. The AEP6 study will establish a benchmark of arts and culture organizations that primarily serve communities of color, and the audiences that attend their events. It will also identify organizations that have a chief executive who identifies as BIPOC/ALAANA. Researchers will use this data to calculate and report on the economic impact of the BIPOC/ALAANA arts sector in each of the participating communities.

For more information and a full list of the communities participating in the AEP6 study, visit

Questions? Contact AEP6 Coordinator Johanna de Graffenreid at [email protected]

Interested in having your event as a survey site? Please complete this short form.

admin-place May 26, 2022