New NEA reports indicate arts & culture add $700B to US economy

by Lindsay Glatz


Three reports from the National Endowment for the Arts expose new findings about the impact of arts and cultural industries on GDP, as well as how and why Americans participate in certain arts activities. “The implications from this research are significant,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The findings show that there is great diversity in how people engage in the arts, and this gives us a framework to use our creativity to innovate new ways to reach these audiences.” All of the data was collected from 2012, so for the first time, the NEA can show an all-inclusive view of a single year in the arts and cultures of our nation from three different angles: supply, demand, and motivations for consumer behavior.

Perhaps the most significant takeaway from the report shows that the top reasons Americans attend the arts (performances and exhibits) include socializing with friends or family members (73 percent), learning new things (64 percent), and supporting the community (51 percent). Secondly, technology has become an influential promoter of arts creation and participation. In 2012, nearly three-quarters of American adults, about 167 million people, used electronic media to view or listen to art, and large proportions of adults used electronic media to create music or visual art. Lastly, the arts are a bigger driver of GDP and jobs than previously estimated. Arts and cultural spending has a domino effect on the overall economy, boosting both commodities and jobs. For example, the report stated “for every 100 jobs created from new demand for the arts, 62 additional jobs are also created. “

This new data analysis proves that arts and culture have a tremendous impact on our economy and communities. The platforms for the arts are growing and new channels of communication, creation, and distribution are emerging to accommodate audience’s growing desire for multimedia arts consumption. 

For more information visit the NEA Website