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Economic Impact

The results of the AEP4 study inEugene and nationally are available here. Download the study brochure results here.

The City of Eugene Report: Eugene

The National Report: National


Pie chart The arts mean jobs. Maybe you haven’t thought much about that. As a resident of Eugene, you understand the more intangible benefits of being surrounded by world-class theatre, music, dance, visual arts, cultural heritage, and humanities.

But now there is new research out on the economic impact of the arts – nationwide and locally here in Eugene. The Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study, conducted by Americans for the Arts, reveals what nonprofit arts groups do for the economy. Did you know:

  • Arts and culture organizations in Eugene are a $45.6 million industry.
  • Of that, about $29 million is spent by the groups themselves (on salaries, supplies, promotion, paying local artists, etc.).
  • An additional $16 million is related spending by patrons of arts events (this amount excludes the price of admission and shows just what is spent for things such as a dinner out or a hotel room, related to a person attending the event.)
  • All of this economic activity supports the equivalent of 1,739 full-time jobs in Eugene.
  • And it generates $2.4 million in local and state government revenue.

Beyond these general economic benefits, you should remember that the arts are a key part of the revitalization of downtown. We have arts venues, office, and events downtown all year long – meaning we draw employers, customers and dollars to the city core.

And if we look at how Eugene’s statistics compare to other locales of roughly the same population (100,000 to 250,000) that are part of the AEP4 study, we see that:

  • The number of jobs in the community supported by this arts spending is about triple the median.
  • Looking at the number of jobs supported by the arts per capita, Eugene ranks No. 7 of the 29 similar-sized areas studied. And many of those that rank higher seem to draw much larger audiences from outside their local areas than Eugene does.
  • Direct spending by Eugene’s arts groups is about double the median of arts groups in similarly sized communities.

What’s even more remarkable is that residents in Eugene engage in the arts in a much more all-encompassing way than folks in other similarly sized communities.

  • Eugene ranks #7 in volunteer hours donated to arts groups.
  • Eugene ranks #4 in hours donated per volunteer.
  • Eugene ranks #2 in number of out-of-town guests who go to an arts event while here visiting friends and family.
  • Eugene ranks #4 in percentage of arts-event attendees who are 18- to 34-years-old.
  • Eugene ranks #2 in the number of people attending an arts event who said they are active art-makers themselves.

So if you ever hear anyone suggest that the arts are nothing but a luxury, that we just can’t support them in hard times, you should tell them that’s not true. You can tell them that the arts are integral to lives of people who live in Eugene. And, in these difficult economic times, jobs depend on the arts. More than 1,700 jobs in Eugene alone.

The AEP4 study was put together by Americans for the Arts, and carried out in Eugene thanks to a collaboration between the Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene (ABAE), the City of Eugene and the University of Oregon’s Center for Community Arts and Cultural Policy (CCACP).

To learn more about the national economic impact of the arts and for more details about the AEP4 study, click here.