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Greater Louisville’s Arts and Culture Industry Generates $462.5 million in Economic Activity and Supports 17,529 Jobs Annually
Arts Industry Returns $21,413,000 in Revenue to Local and State Coffers

LOUISVILLE, KY, November 17, 2017- Fund for the Arts and Arts & Culture Alliance today announced that Greater Louisville’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $462.5 million in annual economic activity—supporting 17,529 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $21,413,000 in local and state government revenues, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 national economic impact study. The most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.

“We have long known that the arts fuel our regional economy but Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 provides compelling evidence that our arts and culture industry is an economic powerhouse,” said Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts President and CEO. “Greater Louisville’s annual economic impact is nearly double the median of similar cities our size and supports 1.5 times the amount of jobs. Not only do the arts improve our quality of life, this study proves that the arts mean business.”

Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations are businesses in their own right. They spent $224.6 million during fiscal year 2015 to employ people locally, purchase goods and services from local establishments, and attract tourists. They also leveraged $237.9 million in additional spending by cultural audiences—spending that pumps vital revenue into restaurants, hotels, retail stores, parking garages, and other local businesses.

“It is clear that arts and culture are fueling our regional economy in a tremendous way,” said Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, Greater Louisville Inc. Chief Operating Officer. “Greater Louisville is fortunate to have a world-class creative community that is driving growth of this magnitude.”

Nationwide, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 reveals that the nonprofit arts industry produces $166.3 billion in economic activity every year—$63.8 billion in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $102.5 billion in event-related expenditures by their audiences. This activity supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments (a yield well beyond their collective $5 billion in arts allocations).

“A vibrant arts and culture industry helps local businesses thrive and helps local communities become stronger and healthier places to live,” 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.”

The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study was conducted by Americans for the Arts and supported by The Ruth Lilly Fund of Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts’ local, regional, and statewide project partners contributed both time and financial support to the study. Financial information from organizations was collected in partnership with DataArts™, using a new online survey interface. For a full list of the communities who participated in the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study, visit

About Fund for The Arts

Fund for the Arts is a regional nonprofit with the mission to maximize the arts to drive economic development, education, and quality of life in our community. The Fund conducts one of the oldest united arts campaigns in the country and supports world-class institutions, community organizations, and arts in education. Fund for the Arts leads collective action across the arts and cultural sector to deliver greater impact in our community. For more information, visit

About Arts & Culture Alliance

The Arts & Culture Alliance (ACA) is a membership network of decision-makers representing the arts and cultural attractions of the Greater Louisville Region and Southern Indiana. In ACA, leaders of regional arts groups work together to identify common goals and pursue projects and events that accomplish their common objectives. ACA unites our members to leverage the collaborative power of the region’s arts and culture sector with a vision of a thriving, integrated arts and culture sector makes our community a vibrant place to live, learn, work and play. 


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