Beaucoup Bucks from Arts and Cultural Organizations Contribute BIG to Eugene Economy


Last Thursday, September 7, Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene (ABAE) presented the results of the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, a nation-wide study through Americans for the Arts on the economic activity and impact of non-profit arts and cultural organizations on local jobs and local revenue generation. Data that was gathered from 40 non-profit organizations in Eugene shows that the arts generate $62 million and 2400 jobs annually!

The impact of spending by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations is very impactful as they pay employees to run the office, hire out contractors to build sets, sew costumes, design their marketing, and purchase supplies from local businesses. Additionally, based on survey results taken from 892 random attendees of various art events, each patron of the arts contributes an average of $19.21 to Eugene's economy the day of the event on things like dinner before the event, babysitters, or even articles of clothing to wear to the event. This means that arts events indirectly support local businesses like restaurants and bars near event venues. For example, a group of friends sharing pizza before a concert at the WOW Hall or WACAI students walking down to the Saturday Market after Alseny's Saturday dance class for lunch and produce shopping at the Farmer's Market. People attending events at public institutions like the Eugene Public Library also use their purchasing power at downtown merchants to stimulate the local economy.

Although there are over 100 nonprofit arts organizations in Eugene alone, only 40 non-profits in our community responded to appeals from the Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 to participate in their survey. This means that these numbers only provide a glimpse of just how much the arts economically impact our community in reality! To attest for just how well Eugene is doing in terms of arts economic activity: our $62 million annual average is almost TWICE the annual average economic stimulation for arts events in the NATION, whose median yearly revenue at $32 million. Go Eugene!

So, the next time you come to a WACAI event, think about how WACAI plays a role in the way the arts so significantly support our community each year and give yourself a big pat on the back for being a part of that! 

Pictured above, WACAI Executive Director Andrea DiPalma Yansane and Intern Elizabeth Bezark stand with John Barry, the Managing Director of the Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene at their Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 presentation.

ABAE is a collaborative not-for-profit organization that builds partnerships with arts organizations, academic institutions, and businesses in Eugene to support the arts in our community. Partnered with the City of Eugene, Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, Lane Community College, University of Oregon, and Travel Lane County, ABAE spreads awareness about the economic impact of the arts on our community and recognizes arts organizations such as our very own WACAI as vital leaders in our community.