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The original item was published from 8/17/2017 7:34:51 PM to 10/16/2017 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: August 15, 2017

[ARCHIVED] City, County, arts advocates announce impact of Arts and Culture


Rutherford County’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $31.2 million
in annual economic activity—supporting $1,054 full-time equivalent jobs, generating $18.3 million in household income to local residents, and delivering $3.4 million in local and state government revenue, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) economic impact study.

The City of Murfreesboro, along with State and County officials announced local results of the national Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) economic impact study in Murfreesboro Aug. 15.
The Tennessee Arts Commission commissioned the statewide study in 2016, joining 19 other states and 341 communities and regions across the country.

“Rutherford County is privileged to be home to a vibrant arts community,”
said State Representative Dawn White. “Our local artisans, musicians, and community venues contribute daily to the prosperity of our community. The economic impact of the arts on our community is undeniable, and we know the true value of their investment in our citizens far exceeds any monetary measurement.”

“This study demonstrates that nonprofit arts and culture is a significant industry in Tennessee and in Rutherford County—supporting jobs, generating local and state revenue, and driving tourism,” said Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission.

“Nationally, as well as locally, the arts mean business in Rutherford County,” said City of Murfreesboro Assistant City Manager Jennifer Moody. “Local arts and cultural organizations are typically recognized for their contributions to our quality of life, fostering creativity, inspiring and delighting individuals in our community; and now, with these study results, we have a measure of their significant benefits to our local economy.”

“This study reveals that non-profit arts and cultural organizations substantially contribute to Rutherford County’s tourism economic impact, while making our community a more desirable place to live, work and play,” said Barbara Wolke, Senior Vice President, Rutherford County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Whether visitors are attending events like the Uncle Dave Macon Days Music and Arts Festival, activities held at the Discovery Center, or other arts related venues, cash registers are ringing. Tourists are staying in our hotels, dining in our restaurants and shopping in local retail stores,” said Wolke.

The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study is the most comprehensive economic impact study of Rutherford County’s nonprofit arts industry ever conducted. The study revealed that per local event, attendees spent $21.53 per person on meals and snacks, local transportation and lodging, souvenir and gifts. In addition, arts volunteerism in Rutherford County includes the donated energy of 2,239 volunteers, giving 125,562 hours of time, with an estimated value of approximately $2.9 million.

Locally, thirty-six (36) local arts organizations gathered data for more than a year for the study. The study, funded by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission, demonstrates the level of economic activity as well as the number of full-time jobs the local arts industry generates annually in Rutherford County. The AEP5 study is part of a national effort to document the impact of the arts by Americans for the Arts. Participation in this study was the first and largest endeavor of its kind nationally, as well as in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Arts Commission worked with 25 local partners and nine development districts to produce a statewide report and customized city, county and regional reports. Data was collected from 642 participating nonprofit organizations across the state and included 14,915 audience participation surveys. The study does not include numbers from individual artists or for-profit arts, music and culture businesses.

Statewide, Tennessee’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $1.17 billion in annual economic activity. The arts support 38,482 full-time equivalent jobs, generating $387.8 million in household income and $135.9 million in local and state government revenues, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) national economic impact study.

This study demonstrates that nonprofit arts and culture is a significant industry in Tennessee—a driver of employment and vibrant communities that helps make Tennessee an attractive place to visit, work and live.

Nationwide, the AEP5 reveals that the nonprofit arts and culture industry produces $166.3 billion in economic activity every year. In addition, it supports 4.6 million full-time equivalent jobs and generates $96.07 billion in household income.

For more information, visit the Tennessee Arts Commission website for the statewide announcement at

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