Art generates revenue locally

Published 7:01 am Sunday, March 15, 2015

A new study was recently released by the Minnesota Citizens for the Arts highlighting the economic impact nonprofit arts and culture activities have on Minnesota.

This report, Creative Minnesota: The Impact and Health of the Nonprofit Arts and Culture Sector, unveils that the arts annually generate $1.2 billion in total economic impact for the state and $25.6 million in Southeastern Minnesota, ranking it third in the amount of economic impact compared to the rest of the state.

The amount of economic impact is based on direct expenditures from arts and cultural organizations and the related spending by audiences.

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This is the first report of its kind since the Legacy Amendment was passed in Minnesota in 2008. It revealed that our region has had the second largest increase in jobs supported through the arts and cultural sector, and an increase of 355,204 attendees to arts and cultural events, second only to the Twin Cities Metro Area.

This impact can be seen locally through many of the Austin Area Commission for the Arts’ programs. For the past three years the Austin ArtWorks Festival has helped support our local economy by bringing more than 6,500 attendees into the downtown Austin area.

Many of these attendees spend money both at the Festival and at area businesses. The Creative Minnesota report determined that an out of town arts and cultural activities participant spends an average of $32.15 per person and a local participant spends $17.83 per person (excludes ticket costs).

The new Austin ArtWorks Center has provided a venue to support sales for more than 70 regional artists. In September through December we sold over $30,000 in artwork.

All of the work is sold on commission, allowing much of the revenue to go back to the artists. In fact, Minneapolis-based glass artist Nicole Fierce has told us that we sell more of her work than any other gallery, which has helped support her effort to open her own glass studio.

The Austin Area Commission for the Arts wants to continue this upward trend of positively impacting our community. However, we cannot do it without community support.

Becoming a member, donor, or sponsor of the AACA provides us with the necessary programming and operational support we need in order to continue helping our community to thrive.

For more information please visit our website at or stop by the Austin ArtWorks Center located at 300 N Main St.

We are open Wednesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.