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Art Makes Economic Impact in Wake County

Posted June 6, 2007

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— Art may be in the eye of the beholder, but research suggests it has an economic impact in Wake County.

According to a study from the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Wake County arts and culture industry accounted for more than $105 million in local economic activity in 2006. The industry employs 3,983 employees, making it Wake County's 10th-largest employer.

The study also suggested the industry generates $64 million in household income to local residents and $10 million in state and local revenue. More than 2.5 million people attended arts and cultural events in Wake County, of which 32 percent were visitors from outside the area.

According to the study, people spend nearly $24 on events, including nearly $15 on refreshments and meals.

"We are truly blessed in our community to have a vibrant arts community," said Harvey Schmitt of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. "It makes this a special place, and it makes it a special place that lots of people want to come to live here and visit, and we are indeed fortunate and these numbers show that it has a very, strong economic impact.

The study was done in conjunction with America for the Arts and 153 cities across the country.


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  • likemenow Jun 6, 2007

    Art classes don't lead to "healthy" schools apparently.

  • chickadee Jun 6, 2007

    Too bad the county commissioners want to "demagnetize" so many of the local schools that focus on arts education. It's ironic that our area appreciates the economic impact of art, but we don't see the value in educating our students in the arts. If the Triangle wants to see a continued growth in the arts, they should support the future artists and maintain the magnet programs in our schools.

  • Cleanup on Aisle Cool Jun 6, 2007

    If you think about the top tourists cities in the world - Paris, London, New York, San Francisco, you'll notice how big a draw art and culture can be. Did you see how many people went to the Rodin and Monet exibitions at the NC Museum of Art?

    That said, I think we need more in the way of cool outdoor art projects in public spaces and parks in Wake County. We have a lot of opportunty in that area.

  • likemenow Jun 6, 2007

    Apparently their budget is up for review. nice timing