Economic Impact of Arts Industry in the Triangle – Statistics

Through this Resource page, we want to make sure that members of the Triangle arts community have, at their fingertips, the statistics and other information to establish the impacts of the arts industry on the Triangle Region.

Help us keep this information complete.  Shoot us an email if you know of more information we should add, or have corrections to the information included here.

Title of study: Arts & Prosperity IV

Sponsoring organization: Americans for the Arts
Date of Study: Fiscal Year 2010
Study Website


  • 182 regions across 50 states are represented by findings shown in this fourth nationwide study of the nonprofit arts and culture economic impact.
  • $135.2 billion in economic activity was produced nationally during 2010, despite the economic difficulty that hit the US during this time. In addition, this economic impact supported millions of full-time jobs.
  • Further statistics and figures establish the arts industry’s resiliency and power as an avenue for future prosperity and economic recovery impact.

National results:

  • $135.2 billion in economic activity produced nationally during 2010
  • 4.13 million full time jobs generated
  • $22.3 billion generated in revenue to state, local, federal governments per year
  • $86.68 billion generated in resident household income

Local results:

  • Direct Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations and Their Audiences:
    • Data compiled by adding the Total Arts and Culture Organizations Industry Expenditures with Arts and Cultural Industry Audience Expenditures
    • All data based solely on each study region’s survey results; no estimates were made to account for non-respondents
    • The following data therefore represent an underestimate of total economic activity generated
  • State of North Carolina
    • Arts and Culture Organizations: $659,296,614
    • Arts and Culture Audiences: $582,577,874
    • Total Industry Expenditures: $1,241,874,488
  • Orange County
    • Arts and Culture Organizations: $63,902,675
    • Arts and Culture Audiences: $21,503,700
    • Total Industry Expenditures: $85,406,375
  • Durham County
    • Arts and Culture Organizations: $74,120,175
    • Arts and Culture Audiences: $51,414,683
    • Total Industry Expenditures: $125,534,858
  • Wake County
    • Arts and Culture Organizations: $87,806,772
    • Arts and Culture Audiences: $78,421,629
    • Total Industry Expenditures: $166,228,401
  • Town of Cary
    • Arts and Culture Organizations: $4,217,795
    • Arts and Culture Audiences: $4,964,157
    • Total Industry Expenditures: $9,181,952
  • City of Raleigh
    • Arts and Culture Organizations: $73,309,539
    • Arts and Culture Audiences: $70,172,569
    • Total Industry Expenditures: $143,482,108


Title of study: The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA)

Sponsoring organization: National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
Date of Study: January, 2015

Indicators assessed: Study provides an in-depth analysis of the arts and cultural sector’s contributions to current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of the final dollar value of all goods and services produced in the U.S.

National Results:

  • In 2012, ACP contributed over $698 billion to the U.S. economy or 4.32% to the GDP, more than construction or transportation and warehousing.
  • 4.7 million workers were employed in ACP goods production, receiving $334.9 billion in compensation.
  • ACP spending has a ripple effect on the overall economy; commodities and jobs are both boosted by arts spending.
  • For every 100 jobs created from new demand for the arts, 62 additional jobs are also created.

Website of Interest:

Key Findings

Title of study: When Going Gets Tough: Barriers and Motivations Affecting Arts Attendance

Sponsoring organization: National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
Date of Report: January 12, 2015

Indicators assessed:

  • Values, motivations, barriers, and lifestyles of arts-goers
  • This 2015 report assesses the impact of the arts from a consumer supply, demand, and motivations perspective. The hope is to improve strategies that engage communities and individuals with the arts to heighten economic activity and achieve a positive ripple effect.  Summary Report

National results:


  • 73% to socialize with friends/family
  • 64%to learn new things
  • 63% to experience high-quality art
  • 51% to support the community


  • 47% Time
  • 38% Cost
  • 37% Access
  • 22% No one to go with

Local Results: N/A

Title of study: A Decade of Arts Engagement: Findings from the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, 2002-2012

Sponsoring organization: National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
Date of Report: January, 2015

Indicators assessed:

  • How many American adults and from which backgrounds engage in art throughout the decade 2002-2012
  • Presents findings on modes of arts participation (visual/performing arts attendance, reading literature, creating/performing art, digital media, learning within the arts)

National Results:

  • Older Americans represent the only demographic group to have experienced increases in attending live visual/performing arts activities over the past decade
  • Survey attendance captured by the SPPA is not a comprehensive indicator of arts participation, though it yields a general idea of attendance
  • The percentage of 18 to 24 year olds who have taken art classes or lessons increased significantly from 2002 to 2012


Title of study: NC Creativity at Work

Sponsoring organization: NC Arts Council
Date of Study: Fact Sheet for 2014
What was studied/Indicators assessed:

  • Fact sheets display information on the arts industry’s contribution to creativity at work, the overarching community, and business innovation. Further benefits include job generation, skill production, town revitalization, contribution to the GDP, and sustained investments. Figures related to direct spending and revenue returned from the industry can also be found.

Local resultsNorth Carolina:

  • Creative Industries are responsible for almost 334,000 full time, part time, and sole proprietor jobs, which represents 6 percent of North Carolina’s overall workforce.
  • Over $13 billion in wages, salaries and benefits created by NC creative industry jobs
  • NC Creative Industries produce nearly $20 billion in revenues and over $8 billion in exports.
  • The number of jobs in creative occupations increased by 8.4 percent from 2006-2012 to 139,294 total creative jobs, representing 2.6 percent of the state’s workforce.
  • Nonprofit arts and culture are a $1.24 billion industry in North Carolina.
  • Audiences at nonprofit arts and culture programs spend an average of $23.37 per person in the community beyond the cost of the event


Title of study: Spending on Arts and Cultural Production Continues to Increase

Sponsoring organization: Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
Date of Study: January 12, 2015

Indicators assessed:

  • Spending on arts and cultural production
  • ACP value added to the GDP
  • ACPSA Output
  • ACPSA Employment statistics

National results:

  • Arts and cultural production (ACP) adds to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the U.S.
  • As spending on ACP increases, strong economic output is generated: Value contributed by ACP accounted for 4.3 percent, or $698.7 billion, of GDP.
  • Advertising represents the prime contributor both to employment for ACPSA industries and commodities output (total goods and services generated) at $239.8 billion.

Further statistics and a comprehensive list for monetary value by year for each service can be found here.


Title of Study: NCAR Arts Vibrancy Index: A Heat Map

Sponsoring Organization: SMU’s National Center for Arts Research
Date of Report: January 2015

What was studied/Indicators assessed:

  • Factors that make up a community’s level of arts vibrancy
  • Statistics on arts dollars, arts providers, grant activity, socio-economic activity, other leisure activity

National Results:

  • The index ranks over 900 communities across the country in terms of arts vibrancy. Vibrancy is defined as the level of supply, demand, and government support for arts and culture on a per capita basis. The report highlights the top 20 large markets and top 20 medium and small markets. NCAR provides rank scores on all measures for every U.S. county on the Arts Vibrancy Heat Index Map.

Local Results: None of the Triangle region is included in the Report. See Arts Vibrancy Heat Index Map for specific areas of interest

Title of Study: Creative Vitality Index

Sponsoring Organization: United Arts of Raleigh and Wake County
Date of Study: 2013

The Creative Vitality Index looks at readily available data to assess the health of the creative economy in an area. There are 36 creative occupations represented, from for-profit performing arts companies, to non-profit arts organization revenues, to bookstores, art galleries and musical instrument sales.

Result summary:

  • The 2013 Index Value for Wake County was 10 % above the national average and also exceed the NC statewide average.
  • Wake County gained 685 creative jobs in one year.
  • Non-profit arts organizations gained 7.5 million more in revenues.

Wake County Results

Title of study: DPAC (Durham Performing Arts Center) Economic Impact

Sponsoring organization: Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau
Date of Study: 2013/2014 Season

What was studied/Indicators assessed: Visitor spending, DPAC economic impact

National results: N/A

Local results

  • Total Visitor Spending: $66.3 Million
  • Overall Economic Impact: $48.4 Million