How the Arts Factor in the Boston Economy

Greater Boston is home to world-renowned healthcare and higher-education institutions, die-hard sports fans, a world-famous marathon, and the largest start-up incubator in the country. But a recent report by ArtsBoston, made possible through the support of Bank of America, reveals that there is another sector making a significant contribution to the local economy: the arts and cultural sector.

The Arts Factor 2014 Report demonstrates how the arts create $1.4 billion in revenue in the Greater Boston through direct spending by cultural groups and incremental spending by audiences beyond the cost of admission. In fact, 18 million people attended arts and cultural events in the area last year, more thanfour times the total attendance for the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, Boston Bruins, and Boston Celtics combined.

It’s long been known that the arts have an enormous impact on the Boston-area economy, and this report highlights just how vital this sector truly is.

Bob Gallery
Bank of America Massachusetts President

“It’s long been known that the arts have an enormous impact on the Boston-area economy, and this report highlights just how vital this sector truly is,” said Bob Gallery, Bank of America Massachusetts President. “What drives us in our support of arts and cultural organizations in the Greater Boston area is the combination of economic impact and quality of life for our customers and employees."

In addition, the report also notes that the sector provides nearly 26,000 jobs in the Boston area and propels innovation by helping companies across industries attract and retain well-rounded, smart and creative employees.

Its robust and varied arts scene also makes Boston a vibrant place to live and work. Greater Boston has more nonprofit arts and cultural organizations per capita than any other U.S. metro area, with 50 organizations for every 100,000 residents. You would have to attend 98 arts events a day to experience every cultural event offered in the region in a year.

A priority for the local arts community, one supported by Bank of America through programs like Museums on Us®, is making sure the city’s many arts and cultural activities are accessible to everyone. Last year in Greater Boston, 25,000 school-based programs provide students with access to the arts annually, offering a vital supplement to academic work. In fact, 7.7 million local residents enjoyed free programs and performances.

“This report is a major milestone for ArtsBoston and the cultural community we serve,” said Catherine Peterson, executive director of ArtsBoston. “It strengthens the case for the importance of investment in our arts and cultural organizations and their work."

In a recent interview, Gallery highlighted investments in the arts as a top priority, noting the positive impact of the collaboration between public and private institutions. “It’s one of the things that makes Boston strong,” he added.



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