Local Economic Impact of the Arts Study in Progress

Year-Long Activities Will Measure Audiences, Arts Organizations’ Impact on Local Economy, Jobs, Services

The Arts Council of Hillsborough County is conduct a research study throughout 2016 to measure the impact of the arts within the City of Tampa as well as Hillsborough County as a whole. The results will be available mid 2017 and will be made available to the County’s nonprofit organizations and others. The information will show how many jobs are created by the arts sector as well as the amount of money being pumped into the local economy by the organizations and their audiences. 

The Arts Council has partnered with the Americans for the Arts‘ Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 project and is one of more than 300 organizations providing information to the national study. Americans for the Arts and DataArts will aggregate the survey data and provide geographic results. Locally, the Hillsborough County Economic Development Department and the Gobioff Foundation have underwritten the costs of participation in the study.

The Arts Council, working with Hillsborough’s non-profit arts organizations, will be seeking information in two parts:

  • from audiences about their spending relative to arts events and
  • from the nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in the county about their own spending on goods and services.

Throughout 2016, nonprofit arts and culture organizations throughout Hillsborough County are collecting surveys from a variety of attendees at a broad representative sample of arts and cultural events and exhibitions. This audience-intercept survey is the tool Americans for the Arts uses to learn about the people who participate in cultural activities, including spending related to their attendance, such as the spending at restaurants before a show, or pay for parking, or spend the night away from home.


The last Arts & Economic study (2008) conducted by the Arts Council found that nonprofit arts and culture are a $298 million industry in Hillsborough County – one that supports 4,848 full-time equivalent jobs and generates more than $30.6 million in local and state government revenue. These facts are powerful tools in making the case for state and local funding for arts and culture by demonstrating the significant return on investment.

Summary of the Arts Council’s 2008 Economic Impact of the Arts Study

January 2016 Announcement of the Arts Council’s 2016-17 Economic Impact of the Art Study


Americans for the Arts   Arts Council of Hillsborough County logo

in partnership with

Hillsborough County Florida   Gobioff Foundation