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Springfield Regional Arts Council Executive Director Leslie Forrester, Mayor Ken McClure, Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau President Tracy Kimberlin and Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce President Matt Morrow speak about the significance of the local arts culture.SBJ photo by GEOFF PICKLE
Springfield Regional Arts Council Executive Director Leslie Forrester, Mayor Ken McClure, Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau President Tracy Kimberlin and Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce President Matt Morrow speak about the significance of the local arts culture.

SBJ photo by GEOFF PICKLE

Study: Local arts industry creates $27M economic impact

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The local nonprofit arts and culture sector provides an economic impact of $26.9 million and supports over 1,000 jobs, according to data released this morning by the Springfield Regional Arts Council.

The council collected the data by participating in the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study by advocacy organization Americans for the Arts. Arts officials this morning gathered with Mayor Ken McClure, Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau President Tracy Kimberlin and Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce President Matt Morrow to present the findings at The Creamery Arts Center.

“The resulting data are better than we ever could have imagined,” SRAC Executive Director Leslie Forrester said. “The arts really do mean business in Springfield.”

The survey’s findings, which cover 2015, include:
    •    1,065 full-time jobs sustained by the Springfield arts and culture sector;
    •    $20.5 million in resident household income generated;
    •    $17.1 million spent by audiences on restaurants, hotels, retail stores, parking garages and other businesses.
    •    $9.8 million spent directly by arts and culture organizations; and
    •    $2.3 million generated in local and state government revenue.

Nationally, the study found the nonprofit arts and culture industry created a 2015 economic impact of $166.3 billion. In Missouri, the figure was $1.04 billion. The greater St. Louis area produced $590.9 million, with $244.2 million coming from Kansas City and $14.7 million from Columbia, among other findings in the full study.

Kimberlin reiterated the tourism aspect of the data.

“Arts and culture helps drive tourism. This study certainly confirms that,” he said.

Morrow noted the data cements what Springfieldians already know: the Queen City has a strong arts culture.

He said the arts are “a big part of how communities compete” and are useful in retaining workers. He added spending on the arts stays local and recirculates throughout the community.

Moving forward, Forrester said SRAC and other arts organizations would use the data as a promotional tool.

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