Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 Report

Million Total Economic Impact
Full Time Jobs Created
Million Organizational Spending
Million Audience Attendee Spending
Million Local & State Govt Revenue
Arts & Economic Prosperity Report 5 Cover

“The Arts Mean Business”

Arts Services Inc. (ASI) with Americans for the Arts compiled data from 126 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and over 1,300 audience members across Western New York to produce this customized analysis for the region.  This report includes organizations and audience members from Allegany, Cattauraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara Counties.


Our Western New York Impact

Total Economic Impact $352.1 Million
Organizational Spending $156 Million
Audience Attendee Spending $196.1 Million
Full Time Equivalent Jobs 10,160
Local & State Government Revenue $40.3 Million

The nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $352.1 million industry in Western New York—one that supports 10,160 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $40.3 million in local and state government revenue.

The geographic area analyzed in this unique report is defined as Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara Counties in New York (a multi-county region).

“The arts are an expression of our region’s diverse and vibrant culture and an important element of our appeal as a tourism destination.  They are also central to our effort to attract and retain a highly skilled, creative-class workforce in Western New York.  The Americans for the Arts report shows the impact of our cultural institutions and makes it clear that they are a necessity to our economic success, now and in the future.”

– Hon. Kathy Hochul, Lieutenant Governor, New York State

Please note that this is a 15 page preview of the report.  To download the full report, use the link at the bottom of this page.

“Understanding and acknowledging the incredible economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture, we must always remember their fundamental value. They foster beauty, creativity, originality, and vitality. The arts inspire us, sooth us, provoke us, involve us, and connect us. But they also create jobs and contribute to the economy.”

– Robert L. Lynch, President & CEO, Americans for the Arts


“As this report proves, the Western New York cultural sector stands strong as a driver of employment, economic growth, tax revenue creation, and more.  That’s far from the only reason to support the arts, but all who read this report will know that supporting the arts is a good investment that’s also good for our community.”

– Tod A. Kniazuk, Former Executive Director, Arts Services Initiative of WNY

Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations are businesses in their own right.  Nationally, they spent $156 million during fiscal year 2015 to employ people locally, purchase goods and services from local establishments, and attract tourists.  They also leveraged a remarkable $196.1 million in additional spending by cultural audiences—spending that pumps vital revenue into restaurants, hotels, retail stores, parking garages, and other local businesses.

By every measure, the results are impressive.  This study puts to rest a misconception that communities support arts and culture at the expense of local economic development.  In fact, communities that support the arts and culture are investing in an industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism.  This Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study shows conclusively that, locally as well as nationally, the arts mean business in Western New York!

Click on any of the topics below for more information about the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Report.