For Immediate Release
Contact: Casey Blake
602-771-6536
cblake@azarts.gov

“Impact: Arts and Culture in Arizona”

Arizona Cultural Data Project Yields Critical Data on the Arts and Culture Sector’s Impact on Arizona Lives and Economies

PHOENIX, AZ (May 24, 2013) – Recently released by the Arizona Cultural Data Project Task Force, the “Impact: Arts and Culture in Arizona” report provides a first-of-its-kind snapshot detailing the arts and culture sector’s expansive impact on Arizona lives and economies.

Utilizing aggregated data from the Arizona Cultural Data Project and select additional data sources, “Impact: Arts and Culture in Arizona” illustrates the myriad ways Arizona’s arts and culture sector develops jobs and revenue, contributes to economic health and competitiveness, promotes civic health and pride, and enhances Arizonans’ overall quality of life.

“‘Impact: Arts and Culture in Arizona’ is an important initial step in catalyzing and quantifying the arts and culture sector’s positive impact on the livability of our state. The report establishes a benchmark for ongoing study of return on investment in the arts and culture sector. This, along with the financial tools provided to arts and culture organizations through the Arizona Cultural Data Project, positions Arizona’s arts and culture sector to assert itself as a major competitor against similar markets in the United States,” said Judy Jolley Mohraz, president and CEO, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

Report highlights include the following:

  • Positive economic impact: Last year, over $581 million was generated by arts and culture organizations and their audiences, delivering critical revenue to Arizona cities and towns.
  • A growth sector, even in recession: Despite persistent post-recession obstacles, Arizona’s creative sector (which includes nonprofit arts and culture organizations and for-profit creative businesses) experienced a 22% increase in number of jobs and a 68% increase in number of businesses from 2008 to 2012.
  • Arizonans participate in arts and culture activities: Last year Arizona’s arts and culture organizations counted over 14 million unique visits to their programs and facilities. Consistent with the sector’s dedication to outreach and inclusivity, over 7 million of those visits were free.
  • Arizona youth are arts and culture beneficiaries: Last year Arizona organizations counted over 1.9 million youth visits to arts and culture events and programs. Additionally, in an effort to provide comprehensive learning opportunities, a majority of Arizona schools maintain multi-year partnerships with local arts and culture organizations.
  • Just the beginning: “Impact: Arts and Culture in Arizona” represents data from 219 Arizona organizations, representing less than half of the state’s active arts and culture organizations. As more organizations continue to engage in the Arizona Cultural Data Project, the sector’s comprehensive impact will come even more clearly into focus.

“This report further reinforces the fact that Arizona’s arts and culture industry is a critical partner to the private sector in Arizona, in growing the economy of our state and in maintaining the momentum of economic recovery,” said Mark Feldman, CEO of Miller/Russell and Associates and Chairman of the Arizona Commission on the Arts. “The vibrancy of Arizona’s arts and culture sector not only serves as a useful tool for recruiting and maintaining a skilled and talented workforce, but it is also a tremendous asset to civic life in our cities and towns, stimulating business activities and attracting tourism revenue.”

Major funding for the Arizona Cultural Data Project is provided by two Phoenix-based philanthropic organizations, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust and Flinn Foundation.  In addition, eight other Arizona-based organizations involved in arts, philanthropy, and policy provided financial support to launch the CDP in early 2011.

“The data generated by the Arizona Cultural Data Project are critical to the ability of our arts and culture organizations to develop strategies to succeed in a tough economic environment,” said Jack B. Jewett, Flinn Foundation President & CEO.  “As the ninth state to join this national model begun by the Pew Charitable Trusts, Arizona has taken a major strategic step forward.”

“Impact: Arts and Culture in Arizona” is the first in a series of published reports utilizing data from the Arizona Cultural Data Project. Subsequent reports will focus on comparative impact/investment analysis across Arizona communities, against regional and national data. More information about the project and its contributors can be found at www.azarts.gov/azcdp.

About the Arizona Cultural Data Project

The Arizona Cultural Data Project (CDP) launched in 2011, and offers a powerful online management tool designed to strengthen arts and cultural organizations. The project gathers reliable, longitudinal data on the arts and culture sector. Members of the Arizona CDP Task Force include the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Arizona Community Foundation, the City of Mesa Arts and Culture Department, the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, Flagstaff Cultural Partners, Flinn Foundation, the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University, Myron Rottenstein, Tucson Pima Arts Council, and Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. For more information, visit www.azculturaldata.org.

About the Arizona Commission on the Arts

One of 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies across the United States, the Arizona Commission on the Arts is an agency of the State of Arizona that supports a statewide arts network. The Arizona Commission on the Arts supports access to quality arts and arts education opportunities for all Arizonans; the development and retention of statewide jobs in the nonprofit arts, culture and education sectors; and increased economic impact in local communities through arts-based partnerships that develop tax and small business revenue. For more information, visit www.azarts.gov.

We imagine an Arizona where everyone can participate in and experience the arts.

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To request this or any other agency publication in an alternative format, contact the Arts Commission offices at (602) 771-6502. Images available upon request.