Local Arts Generate $20 Million For Topeka, Report Says

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- A new economic study finds the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates over $20 million in economic activity in the Capital City and supports nearly 500 full-time equivalent jobs. It adds $872,000 to the city's coffers and generates more than $2,000,000 for the state.

Much of that money comes in from outside of the city as well, the survey notes. One in 5 people who attend arts-related events in Topeka will come from out of town and, while they are here, they'll spend three times as much.

"For a long time, we have known anecdotally that the arts are critical to our local economy," said Sarah Fizell, executive director of ARTSConnect. "We are very excited to have hard numbers that demonstrate how big that impact is."

"This proves that the arts are an excellent investment - and that we are past due to invest in arts and culture across the city," she continued.

The study, which combined local data with the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV national economic impact study, was paid for by ARTSConnect with support from WIBW. Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit organization for which is dedicated to advancing the arts and arts education, crunched the numbers using data collected by organizations in Topeka and audience surveys in the Summer and Fall of last year.

"This study shines a much-needed light on the vital role the arts play in stimulating and sustaining economic development," says Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "Contrary to popular belief, the arts are a bustling industry that supports a plethora of diverse jobs, generates significant revenues for local businesses and to federal, state, and local governments and provides quality of life that positions communities to compete in our 21st century creative economy."