We often talk about how the arts inspire our kids and make our communities more vibrant, but they also are an important economic driver in our region.

“The region’s nonprofit arts and cultural organizations are a big part of community life, economy, and employment in St. Louis,” says A&E president and CEO Cynthia A. Prost.

In fact, the Americans for the Arts recently released their Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 report, which tracked the national economic activity generated in 2015 across 341 different regions – including the Greater St. Louis region.

Nationally, the arts generated $166.3 billion in economic activity and support 4.6 million full-time equivalent jobs. But what does this mean for St. Louis? Let’s break down the numbers.

Of the 65 multi-county regions like St. Louis studied, St. Louis’s nonprofit arts industry ranks #11 in total economic impact generated in 2015. According to the report, our non-profit arts and culture industry:

  • Generates $590,934,189 in economic activity (The last report in 2012 touted $582,300,000).
  • Supports 19,129 full-time equivalent jobs (up from 18,123 in 2012).
  • Draws more than 11.7 million people to an arts event each year (that’s more than twice the attendance at all St. Louis professional sporting events combined at 4.7 million).

“The Economic Impact Study demonstrates how important the arts are in our region,” adds Prost. “The findings honor and validate the real experiences with arts and culture that people make part of their lives throughout our community.”

You can read the full report here.