Local News

Art Makes Economic Impact in Wake County

Posted June 6, 2007 1:34 p.m. EDT
Updated June 6, 2007 11:03 p.m. EDT

— 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.