Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Foster’s Daily Democrat, the leading newspaper in southeast New Hampshire, published a two-part series about the results of the Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) survey in the Greater Portsmouth region. AEP 5 was a national survey conducted by Americans for the Arts that measured the economic impact of non-profit arts and cultural organizations in 341 study regions, including Greater Portsmouth. Art-Speak, the City of Portsmouth cultural commission, collected the data locally.
The first article in the Foster’s series takes an in-depth look at what the AEP5 results say about the Portsmouth area economy. The survey found that the Greater Portsmouth nonprofit arts sector contributed $41 million to the local economy: $10.5 million in spending by the arts and culture organizations themselves, and $30.9 million spent by audience members at local restaurants, stores, parking garages, and other businesses. Portsmouth’s status as a cultural hub not only makes it a vibrant place to live, but also provides a tangible economic benefit. Russ Grazier, CEO and Director of Music Education at Portsmouth Music and Arts Center, says, “The money being spent on the arts here is not being exported out—that creative economy spends locally and that creates a healthy local economy.”
The second article, titled “Maintaining a strong arts economy,” examines the challenges and opportunities the region’s arts and culture industry will face in years to come.