The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance is pleased to announce Creative Pinellas, the county’s Local Arts Agency, will join with them to support the Pinellas County arts and culture economic survey as part of the nationwide Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 research project.
Creative Pinellas will share in the total cost of the yearlong project, which includes funding of the survey itself and a part-time program manager to administer the program. The study is being conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading non-profit organization for advancing the arts in America.
“This is a very important project and we are glad to have the opportunity to work with the St. Pete Arts Alliance to support it,” says Barbara St. Clair, Executive Director of Creative Pinellas. “We live in a world where analytics drive decision making. Having reliable data on the impact of the arts and the creative community, on the local economy, on tourism and on the quality of life gives us a powerful tool in earning support for the arts from the business community and key decision leaders moving forward. “
“Active participation by all of the county’s non-profit arts and cultural organizations will be vital to our success” says John Collins, Executive Director of the Arts Alliance, “Because the Americans for the Arts Survey is extensive, collecting information both from the arts organizations and from people who attend activities and events, it gives us a great opportunity to tell our story and to gather the data necessary to demonstrate the return on investment in the arts. It is critically important that all of the county’s non-profits arts and cultural organizations participate. This is one of those moments when we all need to stand up and be counted.”
Over the next few months, and with the help of Creative Pinellas, Collins will lead an effort to compile a comprehensive list of arts non-profit arts and cultural organizations throughout Pinellas County and to collect detailed information from them on their mission, audience and activities. Additionally he will spearhead a series of audience intercepts at arts and cultural events countywide to evaluate who attends, and from where, and much how attendees contribute to the local economy.
“It’s very hands-on, event specific data,” says Collins, “collecting not just ticket prices, but also how much people spent on restaurants, hotels, transportation, to create a comprehensive picture of what the arts brings to the table. It also will function as a bit of a score card, telling us if visitors to the destination spent an extra night, if they’ll come back or if they would recommend the venue or the experience to a friend because of the great experience they had engaging with arts and culture in Pinellas County.”
Part of a nationwide effort, the Americans for the Arts survey is the largest and the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts industry ever conducted. Currently nearly 300 regions are participating, including 13 statewide partners, 100 cities or towns, 113 counties, 46 multi-city or multi-county regions, and nine cultural districts.
Our Arts & Economic Prosperity series demonstrates that the arts are an economic and employment powerhouse both locally and across the nation,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “Leaders who care about community and economic vitality can feel good about choosing to invest in the arts. Nationally as well as locally, the arts mean business.”