North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

North Carolina's Nonprofit Creative Industry Generates $1.2 Billion in Economic Impact

Ecomnomic impact study issued June 11 shows the creative industry supports more than 43,600 full-time equivalent jobs in the state and boosts tax revenues.


Raleigh, NC -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/12/2012 -- The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $1.2 billion in direct economic activity in North Carolina, supporting more than 43,600 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $119 million in revenue for local governments and the State of North Carolina, Cultural Resources Secretary Linda A. Carlisle has announced.

The new study, "Arts & Economic Prosperity IV: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations and Their Audiences in North Carolina," is part of a national study conducted by Americans for the Arts (AFTA), the nation’s leading nonprofit arts organization for advancing the arts in America.

This is the first time that the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources has participated in this study. The research was implemented statewide by the N.C. Arts Council. Additionally, 17 communities contracted with AFTA for local reports on their nonprofits creative industry.

The study included both nonprofit organizations and other community groups that play a substantial role in the cultural life of the community, such as government-owned or -operated cultural facilities, like State Historic Sites and museums within the Department of Cultural Resources.

“This study shows that an investment in the arts is an investment in a growth industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is one of the cornerstones of tourism,” Secretary Carlisle said in announcing the study's findings on June 11.

More than 47,500 creative for profit and nonprofit establishments contribute to $41.4 billion worth of products and services in North Carolina. Nonprofit organizations — representing 2 percent of the total creative industry — contribute 11 percent of the direct gross domestic product of the overall industry spending.

Other findings in the report include:

- Spending by arts and culture organizations and their audiences supports the full-time equivalent of 43,605 jobs.
- Audiences in 2010 spent more than $582.6 million in North Carolina, with each person spending an average of $23.37 in the community. This spending does not include the cost of admissions.
- Arts and culture are also important to the state’s tourism industry. The study showed that 51.2 percent of all non-residents survey respondents reported that the primary reason for their trip was specifically to attend the arts/cultural event where they were surveyed.

- Additionally, 21.7 percent of non-residents — visitors to N.C — reported that they spent at least one night away from home.

- 46.2 percent of the residents responding to the survey reported that they would have traveled to a different community in order to attend a similar cultural experience and 52 percent of non-resident cultural attendees reported the same.

- The Piedmont Triad Economic Development Region had $274.7 million in direct economic activity, with 9,746 full-time equivalent jobs supported by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, more than $150 million in audience spending and $28 million in revenue for local government and the State of North Carolina.

“We all understand and appreciate the intrinsic values of the arts,” said Wayne Martin, executive director of the N.C. Arts Council. “This study shows that arts organizations are also businesses. They employ people locally, purchase goods and services from within the community, are members of the chamber of commerce and local convention and visitor bureau’s and are key participants in marketing their cities and regions.

“Because arts organizations are strongly rooted in their community the jobs they provide are on the whole local and cannot be shipped overseas,” Martin added.

Nationally, the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study showed that the nonprofit arts industry produced $135.2 billion in economic activity in 2010. Spending by non profit arts and cultural organizations totaled $61.1 billion plus an additional $74.1 billion by their audiences — supporting 4.1 million full-time equivalent jobs and generating $22.3 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues.

The Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study was conducted by Americans for the Arts and supported by the Ruth Lilly Fund of Americans for the Arts. The full text of the national statistical reports is available at

Additional information on the North Carolina report will be available at

The North Carolina Arts Council (, a division of the N.C. Department of Cultura Resources, works to make North Carolina The Creative State where a robust arts industry produces a creative economy, vibrant communities, children prepared for the 21st century and lives filled with discovery and learning.

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources ( serves as a champion for North Carolina’s creative industry, which accounts for nearly 300,000 North Carolina jobs and contributes more than $41 billion in products and services to the state.