"The creative industries offer numerous benefits to state economies, and states have an opportunity to both improve livability and boost state and local economies by investing in the arts and culture."

Arts & the Economy: Using Arts and Culture to Stimulate State Economic Development
, National Governors Association

Local leaders understand the economic impact of the arts.

"Rahway is positioning itself to take full advantage of the visual and performing arts that will provide long-term employment and economic development as well as sustain an enviable quality of life that will benefit all of our residents and visitors. Laying the groundwork for a sustainable arts industry in Rahway will be our own economic stimulus plan."

Rahway Mayor James Kennedy during his 2010 State of the City address

A Vital Component in Economic Development

Arts and culture are important forces behind some of the most successful cities, towns and rural areas across the state and the nation. In New Jersey, arts organizations supported by the NJ State Council on the Arts return $3 in State tax revenue for every $1 invested. Funding for grants awarded by the Arts Council comes from a dedicated revenue source - the Hotel/Motel Occupancy Fee. Bolstered tourism, thriving businesses, job opportunities and increased overall quality of life are among the other returns from strategic investment in the arts.

Here are the facts:

  • Arts activity stimulates $1.2 billion in economic activity each year
  • The arts community supports 17,000 businesses and 77,000 jobs
  • Investment in the arts means $41 million in State tax revenue
  • 34,000 arts events attract 18 million attendees who spend more than $400 million in the local economy

The Economic Impact of New Jersey's Nonprofit Arts and Associated Audience Spending on the State's Economy, ArtPride NJ Foundation, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the NJ State Council on the Arts
findings based on information gathered
from State Arts Council grantees

Glasstown Arts District has now been established for 10 years. Even during a difficult economy in 2009, there was a net increase of new businesses totaling 16 and 99 new jobs were created. There are a total of 152 private businesses and the vacancy rate at the end of 2009 was 8% (down from 11.5% at the end of 2008). Over the 10 years private investment in real estate, rehabilitation and new construction equals $23,434,112 and public investment is nearly $5,000,000.

Learn More About the Role of the Arts In Economic Development

The Economic Impact of New Jersey's Nonprofit Arts and Associated Audience Spending on the State's Economy

Creative Economy Resource Center

Arts & Economic Prosperity III:
The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations and Their Audiences

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