Tennessee’s Nonprofit Arts and Culture Industry Generates $1.17 Billion in Economic Activity and Supports 38,482 Jobs Annually

For Immediate Release
July 12, 2017
By Anne B. Pope, Executive Director, TN Arts Commission

AEP5 Reports Tennessee’s Nonprofit Arts and Culture Industry Generates $1.17 Billion in Economic Activity


NASHVILLE – Tennessee’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $1.17 billion in annual economic activity—supporting 38,482 full-time equivalent jobs, and generating $837.8 million in household income and $135.9 million in local and state government revenues, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) national economic impact study. 

“Tennessee has music, culture and arts unlike any other place in the world, and this report shows that they not only enhance the quality of life here but also contribute significantly to the health of Tennessee’s economy,” Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said.

The Tennessee Arts Commission, the state’s arts agency, commissioned the statewide study, joining 19 other states and 341 communities and regions across the country. AEP5 is the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States and represents all 50 states. 

Senator Doug Overbey, Chair of the Tennessee General Assembly Arts Caucus stated, “The Arts Caucus members understand that arts and culture impact our communities in many positive ways. This study validates that the nonprofit creative economy is an engine for growth and development across Tennessee.”

Nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent $470.8 million during fiscal year 2015. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services and acquire assets within their community. Further, the study shows a total of 48,961 volunteers donated 2.5 million hours to their communities through the nonprofit arts and culture sector generating an estimated value of $57.9 million.

In addition to spending by organizations, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $698 million in event-related spending by its audiences. As a result of attending a cultural event, attendees often eat dinner in local restaurants, pay for parking, and buy gifts and souvenirs. Attendees from out of town spend an average of $73.95 per person, and they often stay overnight in a local hotel.

The Tennessee Arts Commission worked with 25 local partners and nine development districts to produce a statewide report and customized city, county and regional reports. Data was collected from 642 participating nonprofit organizations across the state and included 14,915 audience participation surveys. The study does not include numbers from individual artists or for-profit arts, music and culture businesses.

This study demonstrates that nonprofit arts and culture is a significant industry in Tennessee—a driver of employment and vibrant communities that helps make Tennessee an attractive place to visit, work and live.

Nationwide, the AEP5 reveals that the nonprofit arts and culture industry produces $166.3 billion in economic activity every year. In addition, it supports 4.6 million full-time equivalent jobs and generates $96.07 billion in household income.

About the Tennessee Arts Commission

With the mission to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities, the Tennessee Arts Commission invests in schools and nonprofit organizations in all 95 counties to improve quality of life, further economic development and provide a more balanced education for our children. For more information about the study, visit tnartscommission.org/about-us/aep5.

To view the Economic Impact in the Southeast Tennessee Development District (FY 2015) region, click here DOC081617-08162017152326