5 Ways the Arts Impact Our Economy (Right Here in the Chippewa Valley)

Rachel Witthoft, photos by Luong Huynh

Orchid Eaton, Saturday, January 13 at Haas Fine Arts Center in Eau Claire
Orchid Eaton, Saturday, January 13 at Haas Fine Arts Center in Eau Claire

Plays and art shows aren’t just a form of evening entertainment, there is a real economic benefit to the arts and culture industry – locally and nationwide.

Take Eau Claire County, for example. In a 2017 press release by the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center, they tell us that Americans for the Arts completed a study demonstrating the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations. The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study gives us insight into the specific economic data in Eau Claire County.

Here are some standout numbers from that study ...

1. $10,310,089

This is the annual amount of money brought in by Eau Claire County’s arts industry. Arts and culture organizations spend money locally to run their businesses, adding economic gain. Also, events hosted by these groups attract people to other Eau Claire destinations. If you’re from out of town, what will you need? Perhaps a meal at a local restaurant or an overnight stay at a nearby hotel.

2. 393

The number of full-time jobs created by the nonprofit arts and culture sector in Eau Claire County. In comparison, 4.6 million full-time jobs have been created by the arts industry across the United States.

3. $1,079,000

Local and state government revenue gains generated by the arts and culture industry.

4. $4,509,343

The monetary amount spent by local nonprofit arts and culture organizations within the 2015 fiscal year. They contribute to the local economy while developing their businesses as well.

5. $166.3 billion

This is the amount of money nonprofit arts and culture industries across the United States produce each year.


In the press release, Ben Richgruber, Executive Director of the Eau Claire Regional Arts Council, says, “Our community has seen significant growth over last decade. The nonprofit arts sector has played a major role in that success. These numbers will only increase with the opening of the Confluence Center for the Arts.”

More from the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center website at www.eauclairearts.com.

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