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Las Cafeteras performs at the 2019 Sisters Folk Festival, which typically draws about 1,500 overnight visitors to Sisters, Oregon. Photo by Rob Kerr.
Las Cafeteras performs at the 2019 Sisters Folk Festival, which typically draws about 1,500 overnight visitors to Sisters, Oregon. Photo by Rob Kerr.
Arts Commission partners with Travel Oregon for 'Arts & Economic Prosperity 6' study (Photo) - 05/06/22

Salem, Oregon — Twenty-one Oregon communities – urban and rural – will partner with the Oregon Arts Commission and Travel Oregon for Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States. Administered by Americans for the Arts, AEP6 will examine the economic impact of the arts and culture in Oregon and 386 additional communities representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The number of Oregon cities and communities participating is close to double what it was during the last AEP study in 2017 due to underwriting provided by Travel Oregon.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Oregon Arts Commission on this important study. Independent research from 2017 found that an estimated 10 million overnight leisure travelers to and within Oregon visited historic places or participated in one or more art and culture related activities during their trip,” said Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon. “This means that Oregon’s cultures and heritage were part of nearly 30 percent of the yearly overnight marketable trips to Oregon. Updated research will continue to inform Travel Oregon’s programs that support arts and culture initiatives, ultimately enhancing the Oregon experience for visitors and locals alike.”   

The Arts & Economic Prosperity® series is conducted approximately every five years to gauge the economic impact of spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and the event-related spending by their audiences. 

In 2017, AEP5 documented that the Oregon’s arts and culture sector contributed $687 million and 22,299 jobs to Oregon’s economy. The data revealed that arts and culture jobs across Oregon generated $469.5 million in household income to local residents and delivered $53 million in local and state government revenue. In addition, attendance at arts and culture events was 9,911,552 and average spending was $42.59 per event, excluding the cost of admission. Event spending, which totaled $322,956,808, includes meals, parking, souvenirs, babysitting and hotel stays. 

The results from AEP6 promise to be even more impressive due to increased participation across the state, said Arts Commission Executive Director Brian Rogers. “In 2017, the data represented activity in 11 communities,” said Rogers. “Thanks to Travel Oregon’s generous partnership, we have almost twice as many cities and regions participating in AEP6, so the results will be more comprehensive of the statewide impact of arts and culture events.” See a list of AEP6 Oregon study participants.

Nationally, the 2017 study revealed that the nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion in economic activity (spending by organizations plus the event-related spending by their audiences) which supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in government revenue. The AEP series demonstrates that an investment in the arts provides both cultural and economic benefits. 

Audience-intercept surveys will be collected from attendees to arts events in Oregon from May 2022 through April 2023 – in total, the national sample is anticipated to surpass 250,000 surveys. A survey of nonprofit arts and culture organizations will occur from January through April 2023. The national and local findings will be made public in September 2023. At that time, the Arts Commission will receive a customized report on the unique economic impact results for Oregon including the number of jobs that are supported and the amount of government revenue that is generated by our community’s nonprofit arts industry.

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. 

For the first time, AEP6 will require that the local and state research partners collect a portion of audience surveys from attendees at events hosted by arts and culture organizations that primarily serve communities of color. The AEP6 study will establish a benchmark of arts and culture organizations that primarily serve communities of color, and the audiences that attend their events. It will also identify organizations that have a chief executive who identifies as BIPOC/ALAANA. Researchers will use this data to calculate and report on the economic impact of the BIPOC/ALAANA arts sector in each of the participating communities.

“The Arts & Economic Prosperity study is evidence that the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in Oregon,” said Rogers. “It sends a strong signal that when we support the arts, we not only enhance our quality of life, but we also invest in our state’s economic well-being.”

Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, added, “The arts are economic catalysts—strengthening the economy by creating jobs, generating government revenue and driving tourism. Community is where the arts make a difference, and while the national impact data are impressive, at its core, AEP6 is a local story. I look forward to seeing its results, which will be key in persuading decision-makers that the arts benefit all people in all communities.” 

For more information and a full list of the communities participating in the AEP6 study, visit www.americansforthearts.org/AEP6

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Oregon Arts Commission

The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Economic and Community Development Department) in 1993, in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the Commission’s expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community cultural development. 


The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust. More information about the Oregon Arts Commission is available online at: www.oregonartscommission.org.

Travel Oregon

The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, is a semi-independent state agency whose mission is to inspire travel that drives community enhancement and economic development. Through innovation and partnerships, we share the stories of Oregon’s people and places, deliver world-class experiences, strengthen the industry, work to ensure all travelers feel welcome and preserve Oregon’s way of life and its natural places. Travel Oregon aims to improve Oregonians’ quality of life by strengthening the economic impacts of the state’s multi-billion-dollar tourism industry, which employs tens of thousands of Oregonians.