Arts & Economic Prosperity 5

Illinois' nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $4.03 billion industry according to Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, a 2017 study from Arts Alliance Illinois and Americans for the Arts.

Nonprofit Arts and Culture Sector Economic Impact
(FY2015 and FY2010, in billions)

IL nonprofit arts sector is a $4.03 billion dollar industry.

The Illinois nonprofit arts sector had a total economic impact of $4.0 billion in FY15 (AEP5), increased from $2.75 billion in FY10 (AEP4). 

Nonprofit arts sector is a job and business generator


According to Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, $1.78 billion in annual spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and an additional $2.25 billion in event-related spending (excluding the cost of admission) by their audiences in Illinois:

  • Supports more than 111,000 full-time-equivalent jobs
  • Generates a total of $3.0 billion in household income to Illinois residents
  • Delivers $478.5 million in state and local government revenue
FTE Jobs Supported by Nonprofit Arts Sector
(FY15 and FY10)

FTE Jobs Supported By Nonprofit Arts Sector (FY15 and 2010)

The nonprofit arts sector supported more than 111,000 FTE jobs in FY15 (AEP5), increased from 78,455 FTE jobs in FY10 (AEP4).

Illinois Household Income Generated by Nonprofit Arts Sector
(FY15 and FY10, in billions)

Illinois Household Income Generated by Nonprofit Arts Sector Spending (FY15 and 2010, in billions)

Nonprofit arts sector spending generated $3.0 billion in household income to residents in FY15 (AEP5), increased from $2.3 billion in FY10 (AEP4).

Local Government Revenue Delivered by Nonprofit Arts Sector
(FY15 and FY10, in millions)

Local Government Revenue Chart

Nonprofit arts sector spending delivered $247 million in local government revenue in FY15 (AEP5), increased from $166 million in FY10 (AEP4).

State Government Revenue Delivered by Nonprofit Arts Sector
(FY15 and FY10, in millions)

State Government Revenue Chart

Nonprofit arts sector spending delivered $231 million in state government revenue in FY15 (AEP5), increased from $158 million in FY10 (AEP4).

Nonprofit arts sector contributes to other industries


The nonprofit arts and culture sector drives significant business to other industries critical to the health of the Illinois economy, including food service, ground transportation, and hospitality.

Those who participate in cultural events spend an average of $35.08 per person locally, beyond the direct cost of attendance (i.e. ticket purchases). 

Event-related Spending by Arts and Culture Event Attendees in Illinois (excluding the cost of event admission)

Event-related spending for audiences in Illinois graph

In the 2010 study, Arts & Economic Prosperity 4, those who participated in cultural events spent an average of $24.36 beyond the cost of attendance (i.e. ticket purchases).

The arts drive tourism and retain local dollars


Cultural tourism attracts significant new spending to Illinois. Currently, arts patrons visiting from out of state (non-residents) spend an average of 241 percent more per person than Illinois residents as a result of their attendance at cultural events ($80.57 versus $23.62). 

When asked about their primary motivator for visiting Illinois, 46.8% of non-residents indicated it was "specifically to attend this arts/culture event."

If Illinois does not offer desirable cultural experiences, audiences are likely to go elsewhere. Over 40% of all attendees interviewed said they would have traveled "to a different community to attend a similar cultural event." 

Event-related Spending by Non-Residents and Residents of Illinois 
(In dollars, per person)

Event-related Spending by Non-Residents and Residents of Illinois (In dollars)

Non-resident attendees (i.e. from outside Illinois) spend much more per person than do resident attendees.

Illinois arts audiences go to the polls 

Results from Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 show that arts audiences in Illinois are civically engaged. Over 92% of Illinois resident audience survey respondents voted in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, far above the 63% participation of eligible Illinois voters as a whole. 

Illinois Resident Survey Respondents graph

92.2% of Illinois resident audience survey respondents voted in the 2016 presidential election (Chicago AEP5, p.11). 

Eligible Illinois Voters graph

63.4% of the Illinois voting eligible population voted in the 2016 presidential election (Nonprofit VOTE and the U.S. Elections Project, America Goes to the Polls 2016).

Economic Impact Beyond Dollars: Volunteerism

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 reveals a significant contribution to the arts and culture sector through volunteerism. 

More than 66,000 volunteers who support the work of Illinois arts organizations contribute 3.2 million working hours each year. The donated labor is valued at nearly $75 million (at an estimated $23.56 per hour according to Independent Sector). 

Comparative State-Level Findings

Among five of the most populous states surveyed for AEP5*, Illinois ranks second overall in total economic impact.

Total statewide economic impact

  1. State of Florida $4.68 billion
  2. State of Illinois  $4.03 billion
  3. State of Pennsylvania $3.39 billion
  4. State of Massachusetts $2.27 billion
  5. State of North Carolina $2.12 billion
Comparative State-Level Findings, in Billions
*Five most populous states studied: 1. FL, 2. IL, 3. PA, 4. NC, 5. NJ

 

About Arts & Economic Prosperity

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 is the fifth iteration of the most comprehensive study of its kind ever conducted in the United States. It features a national report along with customized findings for 341 unique study regions, including the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois. Data collection for the Illinois study was conducted in 2016 by Arts Alliance Illinois and compiled by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. Generous support was provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.