Montgomery County Arts and Economic Impact Study

The arts mean business.

That is the message being delivered by the Clarksville/Montgomery County Arts and Heritage Development Council, who announced it has joined “Arts & Economic Prosperity 5,” a national study measuring the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences.

In Clarksville and Montgomery County, the research study is being conducted by AHDC in partnership with Americans for the Arts and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

An interest meeting with Tennessee Arts Commission director Anne Pope on the Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 study will be held Tuesday, March 29, at 5:00pm in the dining room of the Customs House Museum (200 S Second Street). AHDC hopes also to use this meeting as a chance to get arts and heritage supporters together to discuss how we can help each other as we improve quality of life in Clarksville and Montgomery County.

This is the fifth national study over the past 20 years to measure the impact of arts and culture spending on local jobs, income paid to local residents, and revenue generated to local and state governments. This will be AHDC’s first time to participate.

As one of nearly 300 study partners across all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, AHDC will collect economic impact data from local nonprofits that offer arts and culture programming both formal and informal.

“This study will show how nonprofit arts and culture are an important industry in our community — employing people locally, purchasing goods and services from local merchants, and helping to drive tourism and economic development,” said Dr. Ellen Kanervo, executive director of AHDC.

AHDC will also collect surveys from attendees at arts and cultural events. Previous national studies have shown that the average attendee spends $24.60 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission.

Those studies have also shown that, on average, 32 percent of arts attendees travel from outside the county in which the arts event took place, and that those cultural tourists typically spend nearly $40 per person — generating important revenue for local businesses and demonstrating how the arts drive revenue for other businesses in the community.

Surveys will be collected throughout calendar year 2016. The results of the study will be released in June of 2017.