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Arts Fuel Significant Portion Of Tampa Bay Region's Economy

The growing arts community in St. Petersburg provides 519 jobs and attracts 1.3 million visitors per year for an annual economic impact of more than $23 million, according to a newly released study conducted by the USF St. Petersburg College of Business.

The study, commissioned by the city of St. Petersburg's Arts Advisory Committee and underwritten by Bank of America, surveyed 32 arts and culture organizations, including galleries, museums, theater and dance companies and private companies that belong to the Downtown Arts Association.

A news release says the USF College of Business study also found:

    --    Every $1 million spent at St. Petersburg arts-related venues creates more than 22 jobs;  
    
    --    Every $1 spent at an arts-related business generates $1.78 in economic activity throughout the region;
        
    --   Every $1 spent at an arts business generates six cents in household earnings throughout the greater St. Petersburg area;
        
    --    Every two new jobs in the arts and cultural industry supports 1 in the area;
        
    --    Arts and culture as an industry ranks fifth among all industries in the area;
        
    --   Of the 1.3 million visitors attracted to the arts in St. Petersburg, 25 percent are from outside the city -- potentially visiting restaurants and other tourism-related businesses in the city; and
        
    --   More than 7,000 volunteers donate more than a quarter million hours at local arts institutions.
        
"We are thrilled the survey emphasizes what we've known all along -- that visual and performing arts and continued development of arts education play a significant role in job creation and the overall economic growth of our community," said Elizabeth Brincklow, St. Petersburg's arts and international relations manager.  "Our residents and businesses appreciate the arts, understand how essential they are to a city's growth, and are willing to support them long-term."

The complete survey and participating organizations may be viewed online.

Writer: Diane Egner
Source: Robert Danielson, City of St. Petersburg

Read more articles by Diane Egner.

Diane Egner is the publisher and managing editor at 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida. 
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