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Study Says Arts Bring Millions of Dollars to QC


Music lovers, theater fans, and festival goers are supporting a multi-million dollar industry in the Quad Cities. That's according to a study by Americans for the Arts, a national organization, which presented its findings today at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport.

Randy Cohen, Vice president of Research and Policy, says the arts have a substantial impact on the local economy. Non-profit organizations, like theaters and galleries, bring $71 million to the area each year. That pays for 1,900 full-time jobs and contributes $8 million in local and state taxes.
During the past year, Cohen's research team interviewed 1,000 people attending local arts events. He says 1 in 5 came from outside of the Quad Cities.

"Seventy-eight percent of those folks said, 'We came specifically for this arts event,' so it makes a pretty compelling case that when we support the arts, we're investing in a product."

He says, on average, each local resident spends $20 per event, while out-of-town visitors spend over $40. 

According to Americans for the Arts, the arts make up a $135 billion industry nationwide.

Renata Sago is WMFE's general assignment reporter and occasional Morning Edition anchor. She covers everything from major political campaigns and unemployment to civil rights legislation and the performing arts for WMFE and NPR.