Our local creative sector is resilient, formidable, and worth the investment. The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County is delighted to announce Montgomery County’s arts and culture industries generated $183.3M in economic activity in 2022 according to the newly released Arts and Economic Prosperity 6 study (AEP6), an economic and social impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts. This economic activity–$124.5M in spending by arts and culture organizations and an additional $59.3M in event-related expenditures by audiences–supported nearly 4,000 jobs, provided $139.6M in income to residents, and generated $34.6M in local, state and federal government revenue.
Building on its 30-year legacy as the largest and most inclusive study of its kind, AEP6 uses a rigorous methodology to document the economic and social contributions of the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry. The study demonstrates locally as well as nationally, arts and culture are a critical economic driver of vibrant communities.
“The results from Montgomery County’s participation in AEP6 documents the key role our local creative sector and its audiences play in strengthening the County’s economy,” says AHCMC CEO Suzan Jenkins. “The arts and culture industry remains an essential, growing, and steadfast contributor to our local economy despite the innumerable challenges we faced from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting market volatilities.”
In addition to driving the economy, Montgomery County’s cultural industry catalyzes the economy as a multiplier, generating valuable commerce to local merchants, a value-add few other industries can tout. Local AEP6 results show attendees at arts and culture events in Montgomery County spend $23.06 per person per event, beyond the cost of admission. “When people attend local cultural events, they often make an outing of it,” continues Jenkins. “They dine at a restaurant, pay for childcare, purchase merchandise, pay for parking or public transportation, and more. This money circulates back into the County, providing vital income for local business owners and increased tax revenue for the County.” The multiplier effect extends to the visitor economy, supporting and strengthening Montgomery County’s tourism industry. According to the study, 36.8% of the County’s arts and culture audiences travel to Montgomery County, spending an average of $29.30 per person. 88.4% of these ‘non-local attendees’ reported the primary purpose of their visit was attending a specific performance, event, venue, or facility. This additional revenue would not be realized in the County without the extraordinary arts and humanities experiences the local creative sector provides.
“Arts and culture are a fundamental component of building livable communities- beautifying cities and towns, bringing joy to residents, developing a sense of identity and belonging, and celebrating diverse cultural expressions and traditions,” states Jenkins. Like the economic boost, Montgomery County’s AEP6 outcomes demonstrate the significant social benefits our local cultural industry offers. When surveyed, County residents reported a specific activity or venue inspires a sense of pride in their neighborhood or community, and 87.2% agreed if a particular activity or venue were no longer available, it would create a sense of great loss. Creativity and heritage are essential to developing communities where people feel represented and want to live and work, entrepreneurs and innovation thrive, and businesses and nightlife economies flourish.
Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 delivers a clear and welcome message: investing in arts and culture stimulates the economy, supports local jobs, and contributes to building healthy, vibrant, and more livable communities. The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County is exceedingly proud of the phenomenal impact of our sector in and throughout the County.
To view the full Montgomery County AEP6 report, visit: https://www.creativemoco.com/aep-6/