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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Groundbreaking study reveals economic and social impact of
$151.8 million from Nonprofit Arts and Culture Sector in North Dakota

Arts and Economic Prosperity 6 stacked logo with words, "The economic and social impact study of the nation's nonprofit arts and culture industry" written in white on top of a dark background with colorful art and culture icons in a long row underneath

Bismarck, ND–North Dakota Council on the Arts announces that North Dakota's nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $151.8 million in economic activity in 2022, according to the newly released Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), an economic and social impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts. That economic activity–$70.8 million in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and $81.0 million in event-related spending by their audiences supported 3,335 jobs and generated $26.1 million in local, state, and federal government revenue. The findings show that spending by arts and culture audiences generates valuable commerce to local merchants, a value-add with which few other industries can compete. 

Building on its 30-year legacy as the largest and most inclusive study of its kind, AEP6 uses a rigorous methodology to document the economic and social contributions of the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry. The study demonstrates locally as well as nationally, arts and culture are a critical economic driver of dynamic communities.

North Dakota Senator Tim Mathern said, "Tourism and good paying jobs bring people to North Dakota, but vibrant communities with strong arts and culture keep them here."

Kim Konikow, NDCA’s Executive Director, stated “We are grateful to The Arts Partnership in Fargo, the Jamestown Arts Center, Bismarck’s Dakota West Arts Council, and the Minot Area Council on the Arts for their partnership in this statewide project. In addition, NDCA was able to gather data from the Grand Forks area, western ND cities, as well as many rural communities. Together we learned that the arts have value – and a significant economic impact.”

Nationally, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) study reveals that America’s nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $151.7 billion industry—one that supports 2.6 million jobs and generates $29.1 billion in government revenue.

“Arts and culture organizations have a powerful ability to attract and hold dollars in the community longer. They employ people locally, purchase goods and services from nearby businesses, and produce the authentic cultural experiences that are magnets for visitors, tourists, and new residents,” said Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “When we invest in nonprofit arts and culture, we strengthen our economy and build more livable communities.”

AEP6 represents a reset from its previous versions, establishing a new benchmark in the AEP study series.

  • Social Impact: For the first time, AEP6 expands beyond the economic and financial data to include social impact measurements of arts and culture’s effect on the well-being of communities and residents.
  • Equity and Inclusion: AEP6 broke new ground by prioritizing equity, community engagement, and inclusivity.

Justin Anderson, Executive Director of Minot Area Council on the Arts, said, "Being able to have real data showing the impact of the arts in terms of real, hard numbers, is incredibly important, particularly in our rural region. Not only are we able to tell our stories; now we can bring real dollars as a part of it. The arts sector in ND can also now boast an impressive increase in activity since the last survey in 2015, and considering many of us are still building audiences post-Covid, that is truly an impressive statistic."

Key figures from North Dakota's AEP6 study

  • Attendees spend $32.50 per person per event, beyond the cost of admission.
  • 27.0% of attendees are nonlocal visitors who traveled from outside the State of North Dakota; they spend an average of $38.03.
  • 90.9% of arts and culture attendees agree that the activity or venue where they were surveyed “is inspiring a sense of pride in this neighborhood or community.”
  • 87.8% agree that “I would feel a great sense of loss if this activity or venue were no longer available.”
  • 83.9% agree that the venue or facility where they were surveyed is “an important pillar for me within my community.”

By measuring arts and culture’s wide-ranging impact, public and private sector leaders can work together to secure funding and arts-friendly policies that shape more vibrant and equitable communities.

The full national report, a map of the 373 study regions, and a two-page economic impact summary for each, can be found at AEP6.AmericansForTheArts.org.

Rhea Beto

North Dakota AEP6 One Page Summary

North Dakota AEP6 Final Report

The North Dakota Council on the Arts is the state agency responsible for the support and development of the arts throughout North Dakota and is funded by the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 study was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. It was supported by The Ruth Lilly Endowment Fund of Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts' 297 study partners contributed both time and financial support to the study.

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