AACA events see increased attendance; Provided over $245,000 economic boost in 2017

Published 9:08 am Wednesday, November 14, 2018


Councilwoman Laura Helle provided a comparison of 2018 Austin Area Commission for the Arts (AACA) programs versus 2017 programs to the Austin City Council during the council’s regular work session on Monday, Nov. 5.

Helle, who is the executive director of the AACA, said that an estimated 20,000 people attended an AACA event in 2017. Of this, an estimated 80 percent were local, spending an average of $9.77 per person beyond event ticket prices. The remaining 20 percent that were non-local spent an average of $22.21 per person beyond the event ticket prices.

That spending, Helle said, accounted for $245,160 added to the local economy in 2017. The figures were based on economic impact measures in the Creative MN 2015 report.

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Helle also said that AACA volunteers provided approximately $120,000 worth of labor for events. On average, AACA volunteers perform 6,500 hours of labor per year.

It was noted that AACA events saw increased attendance in 2018.

A pair visiting an ArtRocks Jam Session peak in a doorway to see the entertainment. Herald file photo

The most significant percentage increase came from the number of adults participating in Austin ArtWorks Center programs, with 968 participating in 2017 to 1,786 participating in 2018, an increase of about 80 percent.

The Austin ArtWorks Festival also saw a large increase in attendance, from 7,500 visitors in 2017 to 9,000 visitors in 2018. This year’s festival featured a record-setting 67 exhibitors versus 55 in 2017, 24 musical acts versus 17 in 2017, and 10 authors versus 9 in 2017.