Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 Study (AEP6)





Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) is the sixth economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in the U.S. This study is conducted by Americans for the Arts approximately every five years to gauge the economic impact (on employment, government revenue, and household income) of spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and the event-related spending by their audiences. This highly regarded project is being conducted by independent researchers at Americans for the Arts. The findings have been trusted for decades to leverage increases in local, state, and federal arts funding.

Americans for the Arts is committed to addressing equity and inclusion as a critical component of the methodology, organizational participation, and collection of data for AEP6 by centering and representing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American) identifying communities—a segment of the nonprofit arts and culture sector that has been underrepresented in past studies. Researchers will use the data to calculate the economic impact of the BIPOC and ALAANA arts sector.

As your Designated Regional Service Organization (DRSO) for the CT Office of the Arts, the Cultural Coalition is helping Americans for the Arts to conduct two separate economic impact studies in eastern Connecticut – one for the southeast region and one for the northeast region.

While AEP6 is a national study, our economic impact reports will be based on spending by our own local nonprofit arts and culture organizations as well as the event-related spending by their audiences in our communities, such as at local retail, parking, and restaurant establishments. We appreciate your participation in this critical research to advance the arts and culture industry in our community.

A total of 1,185 surveys were collected from audiences at venues/events throughout eastern Connecticut – from May 2022 to May 2023.
730 in southeast region (all municipalities in New London County)
455  in northeast region (all of Windham County, 6 municipalities in Tolland County)

In addition, over 100 eligible nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in eastern CT completed surveys with information about their organization’s annual operating expenditures, in-person attendance, and number of staff/volunteers.

The arts bring us inspiration and joy, and make our community a beautiful place to live and work. But arts and cultural organizations do so much more. Economic impact studies such as AEP6 will expand the conversation about how many people view the local arts and culture industry. While most appreciate the cultural benefits provided to our community, few realize that the arts and culture industry supports local jobs, spurs business development, generates government revenue, attracts audiences, and are a cornerstone of tourism. The data helps tell our story!

At the national level, AEP5 showed that the nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion in economic activity, supporting 4.6 million jobs and generating $27.5 billion in government revenue.

Locally, AEP5 showed that our arts and culture industry generates $168 million in southeastern CT.  In fall of 2023, we will have economic impact data for the northeast region for the first time and an update on the southeast region from AEP6.  Our local nonprofit arts and culture organizations have been, and will continue to be, critical to our region’s economic recovery.