SDAC shares results of statewide Arts & Economic Prosperity IV Study

The recent survey conducted across South Dakota by Americans for the Arts proves with hard statistical data that the arts and culture industry in South Dakota is a vital part of our state’s economy—and that South Dakotans support the arts in measurable ways.
The Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study provides compelling new evidence that nonprofit arts and culture are a $96.7 million industry in the state of South Dakota—one that supports 2,989 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $7.9 million in local and state government revenue. Direct spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations totals another $36.2 million each year, spending that supports local economies in the communities where those groups are based.

AEP IV data on event-related arts and culture audience spending illustrates the economic support that audiences annually give the arts in South Dakota. According to the study, South Dakota residents attending arts and cultural activities spend a total of $39.1 million annually, with non-resident attendees adding another $21.4 million in spending for event-related arts experiences. This annual total of $60.5 million is spent at restaurants, hotels and retail stores in South Dakota—spending which is driven by the arts and culture industry.

Results from the study lay to rest the misconception that communities support the arts and culture at the expense of local economic development. In fact, communities that support the arts and culture not only enhance their quality of life—they also invest in their economic well-being.

“This is the first statewide survey of the role the arts play in our economy,” said South Dakota Arts Council executive director Michael Pangburn. “These numbers—collected during fiscal year 2010—give us a baseline to measure future growth in the arts, but do not fully reflect the real influence of the arts in our state. The real impact is on people—the human equation in local environments where the arts make life better for our children and ourselves.”

Fiscal year 2010, when survey numbers were gathered, was a difficult year for the economy in South Dakota and across the nation. However, South Dakota communities have seen arts participation grow during that year and especially in the two years since then. Hill City, for example, experienced a 60% increase in the arts council budget over three years, with funds raised primarily through donations and grants. In addition, Hill City audience participation has grown from 3,205 in 2009 to 16,618 in 2011, including a five-fold increase in the Sculpture in the Hills show and sale.

Highlights as well as complete results of the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study for South Dakota are available by clicking on the links above.