by Randall Forte, executive director
During 2011, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council gathered data from ninety-one arts and cultural organizations as part of a national economic impact study, “Arts & Economic Prosperity IV.” According to the study, our region’s nonprofit arts and culture are a $208 million industry—one that supports 7,114 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $21.4 million in local and state government revenue. 5,000,000 people attended events in 2010, and 31.5% of them were out-of-town visitors. 6,532 volunteers donated a total of 292,634 hours to the Lehigh Valley’s participating nonprofits.
Beyond the numbers are innumerable benefits that add to the impact the arts bring to our lives every day. They exist in our personal stories of how the arts bring joy to learning and living, and comfort to the dying and grieving. Most essential, the arts bring members of the community together and foster civic engagement.
Become an advocate for the arts and share this information and your stories with your elected officials. Remind them that public dollars for the arts are a wise investment in the growth and prosperity of the Lehigh Valley.