Ola_Czechowska

As an update to my January Letter from the Director, on January 14, the organization ArtsFund released its latest Economic Impact study of arts and culture in the Puget Sound.  The study looked at arts and cultural activity in King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties.  The numbers are impressive.

Focusing on King County alone, “…in 2009 $1.75 billion in business activity was generated in the Washington economy due to spending by King County arts, cultural, and scientific organizations, and spending by their patrons.  This business activity supported 29,165 jobs, and $798 million in labor income, and resulted in $78 million in sales, business and occupation (B&O) taxes, and hotel-motel room taxes. Spending by cultural organization patrons totaled $628 million, with tickets and admissions accounting for $210 million of these expenditures. Income of arts, cultural, and scientific organizations were $415 million in 2009, while they spent $408 million providing these services. Income of arts, cultural, and scientific organizations were $415 million in 2009, while they spent $408 million providing programs, productions, exhibits and services.”

The larger economic impact number of $1.75 billion represents the multiplying impact of these direct expenditures.  For example, a theatre company building sets shops at local lumber yard; the wood may have been milled elsewhere and transported to the local yard.  There is a ripple effect way beyond the direct expenditures of the cultural organization.

Here is a link to the complete study.  And thank you, ArtsFund for this timely data.

Photo courtesy of Ola Czechowska