The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County
(CAA) is pleased to announce its participation in Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States. Administered by Americans for the Arts, AEP6 will examine the economic impact of the arts and culture in Walton County, Fla., and 386 additional communities representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The Arts & Economic Prosperity® series is conducted approximately every five years to gauge the economic impact of spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and the event-related spending by their audiences. In 2017, 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. The AEP series demonstrates that an investment in the arts provides both cultural and economic benefits.
Audience-intercept surveys will be collected from attendees to arts events in Walton County from May 2022 through April 2023—in total, the national sample is anticipated to surpass 250,000 surveys. A survey of nonprofit arts and culture organizations will occur from January through April 2023. The national and local findings will be made public in September 2023. At that time, the CAA will receive a customized report on the unique economic impact results for Walton County including the number of jobs that are supported and the amount of government revenue that is generated by our community’s nonprofit arts industry.
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.
“The CAA is proud to partner with Americans for the Arts and hundreds of other arts organizations across the country on this important study that will certainly drive home the value of the Arts to Walton County and the state of Florida,” said CAA Executive Director Jennifer Steele. “We look forward to working with our fellow creative businesses and organizations to gather information that will help us prove not just the economic impact but also the social and cultural benefits that the Arts provide to Walton County residents and visitors.”
Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, commented, “The arts are economic catalysts—strengthening the economy by creating jobs, generating government revenue, and driving tourism. Community is where the arts make a difference, and while the national impact data are impressive, at its core, AEP6 is a local story. I look forward to seeing its results, which will be key in persuading decision-makers that the arts benefit all people in all communities.”
The CAA’s participation in the AEP6 study is supported in part by the Florida Department of State Division of Arts & Culture. For more information and a full list of the communities participating in the AEP6 study, visit www.americansforthearts.org/AEP6