New Studies Show Local Artists, Creative Businesses, and Non-profit Cultural Organizations Drive the Fort Collins Economy

Arts Industry Includes 6,585 Jobs; Sales and Revenues of $74M

(Fort Collins, CO – September 21, 2012) The arts, culture, and creative industry generates nearly $75 million in annual economic activity to the City of Fort Collins Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and supports 6,485 jobs according to new studies by the Americans for the Arts and the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) that were commissioned by Beet Street.

Both studies show that the Fort Collins and Larimer County creative economy have outperformed the nation during a time of economic recession.

The WESTAF Creative Vitality Index (CVI) study details the findings of research on the overall health of the regions’ arts-related creative economy. The CVI is a robust and inclusive measure of the economic vitality of the arts and arts activities in a specified geographic or political region of the United States. Index data streams are analyzed by WESTAF and taken from two major data partners: the Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics and Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. (EMSI).

“Not only do the arts help to drive our economy, but they also make our communities richer and more vibrant. This study confirms what we already know – that the arts matter and in a big way. In the three years covered in the WESTAF CVI study, sales and revenues in the arts increased by 27%. This is truly something to celebrate,” said Beth Flowers, Beet Street Executive Director.

The CVI study shows that the local arts and culture industry generates $62,627,000 in sales for the Fort Collins MSA. Independent artists, writers, and performers contribute $34,645,00 in sales annually. Annual book and record store sales top $10 million, and music store sales top $5 million.

Arts & Economic Prosperity IV was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. This is the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States.

According to the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV national economic impact study, released in 2012, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates over $19 million in annual economic activity in the City of Fort Collins—supports 528 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $1.8 million in local and state government revenues.

Beet Street, a Fort Collins based non-profit organization that exists as a catalyst to develop Fort Collins into a nationally recognized arts and culture center, partnered with the Americans for the Arts to collect the data required for this year-long study. Local volunteers helped to collect over 1,200 audience surveys at arts and culture events throughout the city, and Fort Collins based arts and culture organizations participated in organizational expenditure surveys to help lay the groundwork for the study’s findings.

The study also found that nonprofit arts and culture organizations in Fort Collins spent $9 million during fiscal year 2010. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services, and acquire assets within their community. Those dollars, in turn, generated $11.8 million in household income, which includes salaries, wages and entrepreneurial income paid to local residents, and $1.8 million in local and state government revenues.

Nationally, the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study reveals that the nonprofit arts industry produced $135.2 billion in economic activity during 2010. This spending—$61.1 billion by nonprofit arts and culture organizations plus an additional $74.1 billion by their audiences—supported 4.1 million full-time equivalent jobs and generated $22.3 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues.

“This study shines a much-needed light on the vital role the arts play in stimulating and sustaining economic development,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “Contrary to popular belief, the arts are a bustling industry that supports a plethora of diverse jobs, generates significant revenues for local businesses and to federal, state and local governments and provides quality of life that positions communities to compete in our 21st century creative economy.”