The Hannibal Arts Council joined 341 diverse community and regions across the country to participate in The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) study conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.

The Hannibal Arts Council joined 341 diverse community and regions across the country to participate in The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) study conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.

AEP5 is the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States. The participating communities ranged in population from 1,500 to 4 million and included rural, suburban and urban areas — 113 cities and 115 counties, 81 multi-city or multi-county regions, 20 statewide study areas and 12 arts districts. This was the first time the Hannibal Arts Council participated in the national study.

Specific results from the Hannibal area concluded that the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $5.09 million in annual economic activity in the Hannibal area — supporting 126 full-time equivalent jobs and generating over $506,000 in local and state government revenues. Results also showed that nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent $1.4 million during fiscal year 2015. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services and acquire assets within their community. Those dollars in turn generated $844,000 in household income for local residents and $55,000 in local and state government revenues.

In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit arts and culture industry leveraged $3.7 million in event-related spending by its audiences. As a result of attending a cultural event, attendees often eat dinner in local restaurants, pay for parking, buy gifts and souvenirs and pay a babysitter. What’s more, attendees from out-of-town often stay overnight in a local hotel. In the Hannibal area, these dollars support 87 full-time equivalent jobs and generate $450,000 in local and state government revenues.

“I think we always knew that the arts meant business, and now we have some data to back it up. We concentrate on our programs, how we serve our community and how we can enhance the lives of those who participate,” said Michael Gaines, Executive Director of the Hannibal Arts Council. “A great side effect that is occurring, sometimes without us concentrating on it, is the economic impact of what arts and culture organizations are adding to our community. Whether it’s the Hannibal Arts Council, Bluff City Theater, Hannibal Concert Association, Mark Twain Boyhood Home, Hannibal History Museum or any of our many cultural partners and community events, the arts and cultural industry does make an economic impact and attracts visitors to our community, while first and foremost, providing programs for our community to enjoy.”

Nationwide, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study reveals that the nonprofit arts industry produces $166.3 billion in economic activity every year, resulting in $27.54 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues. In addition, it supports 4.6 million full-time equivalent jobs and generates $96.07 billion in household income.

“This study demonstrates that the arts are an economic and employment powerhouse both locally and across the nation,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “A vibrant arts and culture industry helps local businesses thrive and helps local communities become stronger and healthier places to live. Leaders who care about community and economic vitality can feel good about choosing to invest in the arts. Nationally as well as locally, the arts mean business.”