CCT: New Report Details Economic Impact of Arts and Culture in Connecticut


(HARTFORD, CT)  -  Connecticut’s arts and culture industry has a significant impact on local economies, and now a new report released today outlines specifically what those contributions are.

The state’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) commissioned Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts, to gather data on Connecticut’s nonprofit arts and cultural industry and the impact that their audiences have on area economies.  The report is titled Arts and Economic Prosperity IV- Connecticut.

“This is an excellent opportunity to showcase the arts as a significant component of our integrated economic development strategy,” said Catherine Smith, commissioner of DECD, which oversees the state’s Office of the Arts. “Connecticut’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences spent $653 million in 2010. Furthermore, arts spending delivered more than $59 million in combined local and state government revenues.  Even during the down economy of 2010, the arts delivered for Connecticut.”

DECD’s Connecticut Office of the Arts, Americans for the Arts, the Connecticut Arts Alliance, and the Palace Theater in Waterbury announced the findings this morning at the Palace Theater in Waterbury.

“The nonprofit arts and culture industry in Connecticut currently generates more than 13 times the local government and state government revenues than the national average,” said Kip Bergstrom, deputy commissioner of DECD.  “The industry generates over 18,000 full time jobs, as well. Arts and culture organizations are strongly rooted in their community, where these resilient and creative employers provide a diversity of local jobs that cannot be shipped overseas.

Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts Randy Cohen, a noted expert in the field of arts funding, research, policy, and the use of the arts to facilitate innovation and community development, presented the results of the statewide report.

One of the themes of the report, and a clear message for policymakers, is that “… a vibrant arts community not only keeps residents and their discretionary spending close to home, it also attracts visitors who spend money and help local businesses thrive.”

Findings are based on a survey of the state’s arts and cultural groups. While a majority of the largest participated, the final numbers were calculated with data collected from only 29% of these groups.

As of 2012, the Connecticut Office of the Arts realigned its entire grants program to promote “creative placemaking.” The idea behind the Arts Catalyze Placemaking program is to make Connecticut’s communities even more vibrant than they already are, benefiting residents and helping each community become more competitive in its business and talent recruitment efforts.

About the Report
The State of Connecticut is one of 182 study regions that participated in Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, the most comprehensive study of its kind ever conducted. It documents the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture sector in 139 cities and counties, 31 multi-city or multi-county regions, 10 states, and two individual arts districts—representing all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The diverse study regions range in population (1,600 to four million) and type (rural to large urban) and focuses solely on the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and event-related spending by their audiences.


Christopher “Kip” Bergstrom

860-256-2727 (office)

John Cusano
860-256-2723 (office)