Arts and culture nonprofits in Manatee County generated $47.4 million in annual economic activity in Manatee County in 2015, according to an extensive national study.
Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 is a national economic impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts in 2015. It’s said to be the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in the United States.
The study found that in 2015, Manatee County arts, culture and heritage nonprofits supported the equivalent of 1,260 full-time equivalent jobs and generated $5.8 million in local and state government revenues.
“A healthy arts and culture scene improved a community’s livability and its tourism,” said Johnnette Isham, the executive director of Realize Bradenton. “Winning cities recognize that.”
Perhaps even more striking than the raw numbers are a comparison to previous figures. In 2007, just eight years before the year of the latest study, the economic impact of arts and culture nonprofits in the country was $29.4 million. So, the 2015 figures represent more than 50 percent growth in eight years.
The period between 2007 and 2015 saw several significant cultural developments in Bradenton, including the formation of Realize Bradenton, the beginning of the Bradenton Blues Festival and the opening of the Manatee Performing Arts Center.
In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit arts and culture industry allows for event-related audience spending by patrons. As a result of attending a cultural event, patrons often dine at local restaurants, pay for parking, stay in hotels, purchase gifts and souvenirs and pay babysitters.
Event-related spending by these patrons in Manatee County totaled $33 million in 2015, according to the study.