“The Arts Mean Business” is the message being delivered today by the Toe River Arts Council (TRAC), which is announcing it has just joined the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) study, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, a national study measuring the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences. The research study is being conducted by AFTA, the nation’s nonprofit organization advancing the arts and arts education. It is the fifth study over the past 20 years to measure the impact of arts spending on local jobs, income paid to local residents, and revenue generated to local and state governments.
As one of nearly 300 partners nationally, TRAC will collect detailed financial data about our local nonprofit arts and culture organizations such as our theater companies, museums, festivals, and arts education organizations in Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties. TRAC Executive Director, Denise Cook, indicated that, “Many people don’t think of nonprofit arts organizations as businesses but this study will confirm that the arts are a critical industry in our three county Toe River Valley area—employing people locally, purchasing goods and services from local merchants, and helping to drive tourism and local development.”
TRAC will also collect surveys from attendees at arts events using a short anonymous questionnaire that asks what they spent on meals, accommodations, and retail shopping specifically as a result of attending the event. Surveys will be collected throughout the 2016 calendar year.
Project Liaison, Rob Heffron, stressed that, “When we support the arts in the Toe River Valley, we are making an investment in an industry, one that supports jobs and generates government revenue, and is a cornerstone of tourism.”
“Our Arts and Economic Prosperity series demonstrates that the arts are an economic and employment powerhouse both locally and across the nation,” said Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “Leaders who care about community and economic vitality can feel good about investing in the arts. Nationally as well as locally, the arts mean business.”
In June 2017, AFTA will issue a final report detailing the number of jobs and revenue that the arts and culture represent in the Toe River Valley. This specific information will be helpful in assisting individual arts organizations as they apply for grants from various governmental entities and others.
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Clay Club meets at artist studios and other locations throughout Western North Carolina, usually on the second Wednesday of the month. All potters and ceramic artists are welcome!