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Economic Impact of Door County Arts and Culture Revealed

Door County’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $38.6 million in economic activity in 2022, according to the newly released

Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), an economic and social impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts. 

That economic activity – $16.8 million in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations, and $21.8 million in event-related spending

by their audiences – supported 738 jobs and generated $6.2 million in local, state and federal government revenue. 

The study demonstrates that arts and culture are a critical economic driver of vibrant communities, with arts and culture audiences generating valuable commerce for local merchants that few other industries can match, said Brian Kelsey, managing director of Peninsula Players Theatre, Peninsula Arts and Humanities Alliance (PAHA) president, and chair of the Wisconsin Arts Board.  

“We value the arts for their intrinsic worth, and this study reminds us now, more than ever, that we must value their economic contributions to our community,” Kelsey said. “The arts and cultural institutions of Door County play a critical role in the economic vitality of our community and are central to our tourism-driven economy.”

Nationally, the AEP6 study reveals that America’s nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $151.7 billion industry – one that supports 2.6

million jobs and generates $29.1 billion in government revenue.

“Arts and culture organizations have a powerful ability to attract and hold dollars in the community longer,” said Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts.. “They employ people locally, purchase goods and services from nearby businesses, and produce the authentic cultural experiences that are magnets for visitors, tourists, and new residents. When we invest in nonprofit arts and culture, we strengthen our economy and build more livable communities.”

Key findings from Door County’s AEP6 study show:

•Door County’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $21.8 million in event-related spending by its audiences.

•The typical attendee spends $100.51 per person per event, not including the cost of admission.

•More than half of nonlocal attendees (51.2%) reported that the primary purpose of their visit was specifically to attend the performance, event, exhibit, venue, or facility where they were surveyed.

•Among attendees who live in Door County, 41.5% said they would have “traveled to a different community to attend a similar arts or cultural activity.”

•Attendees agreed (91.7%) that the activity or venue they were attending was “a source of neighborhood pride for the community.”

•Attendees said (90.2%) they would “feel a sense of loss if that activity or venue was no longer available.”

The AEP6 study demonstrates the significant economic and social benefits that arts and culture brings to their communities, states, and the nation. To amplify the study results and raise awareness of these widespread benefits with public and private-sector leaders,

17 national organizations partnered with Americans for the Arts on the AEP6 study.

By measuring arts and culture’s wide-ranging impact, Kelsey said public and private sector leaders can work together to secure funding and arts-friendly policies that shape more vibrant and equitable communities.

The full report, including Door County’s portion, can be found at AEP6.AmericansForTheArts.org.

PAHA is a coalition of nonprofit organizations whose purpose is to enhance, promote and advocate the arts, humanities and natural sciences in Door County. Member organizations are: Birch Creek Music Performance Center; Björklunden; The Clearing Folk School; Door Community Auditorium; Door County Historical Society; Door Shakespeare; The Hardy Gallery; Midsummer’s Music; Miller Art Museum; Northern Sky Theater; Peninsula Music Festival; Peninsula Players Theatre; Peninsula School of Art; Third Avenue PlayWorks; Trueblood Performing Arts Center; and Write On, Door County.