THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE ARTS
Joan’s Blog. . .
Arts in Hampton Roads – The Economic Impact
The Virginia legislators will soon be headed back to Richmond. Those of us in the arts and culture arena will be focused on keeping an eye on funding for the arts and cultural organizations. We are already aware of the possibility of cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts (which I hope each of you have written to your state representative about). In today’s society, we must remember that while we love music, art, dance, theater, all kinds of arts programming; when the state officials get to Richmond, they will be looking at the dollars that the arts bring into the cities. And, of course, any information that we can present to our elected officials must be documented.
The recent article in the Virginian Pilot about the $1.5 million dollar impact of OpSail 2012 provided such data. Karen Scherberger, the CEO of Norfolk FestEvents, and her team should be commended for a job well done! Their team partnered with many groups in the Hampton Roads area (and the state) to present the programs and activities during OpSail. According to the data collected, there were 58 ships, 6,000 officers, crew, and cadets from 15 nations. There were over 1.5 million visitors who attended OpSail and 23% of these visitors were from out of town. What was the final figure? Karen says the City netted 30 million dollars more than the projected figure of 120 million dollars. What an economic impact to our area! The impact was also felt in the local community--individual artists were hired to perform, venues were used for programs, volunteers and local groups assisted with the visitors on the ships and with the programs of FestEvents! OpSail was a buzz of activity for the time that it was in our area! This data impresses our elected officials.
Be sure to collect the economic and financial data about your organization so that you will know your organization’s impact in the arts; but remember, elected officials are very interested in the cities and municipalities that they represent—so partner with your area organizations and combine the data. Remember, there is strength in numbers! Join the Cultural Alliance of Greater Hampton Road’s ADVOCACY workshop on September 12th at the Harrison Opera House. The workshop is presented by Pat Rublein of the Virginians for the Arts; this interactive workshop will train those of us in the arts how to represent the arts and cultural organizations and provide the elected officials with data they need. . Virginians For the Arts is a partner of Cultural Alliance of Greater Hampton Roads and they do a great job of advocacy for the arts but they need our help! Log on the Cultural Alliance’s website today and register for the Advocacy Workshop.