Doing big biz in arts and culture

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The arts and cultural industry is now contributing about $80 million to Alexandria’s economy, according to a study released Wednesday
This figure includes $13.6 million in expenditures by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and an additional $66.4 million in event-related spending by their audiences. 

This corollary spending pumps vital revenue into local restaurants, hotels, retail stores, parking garages and other businesses in the city, said Mayor William D. Euille in announcing the results of the survey.

In celebration of Virginia Arts Advocacy Day Wednesday, the Alexandrias Commission for the Arts announced the results of what Euille called “the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States.” 

Americans for the Arts, a New York-based nonprofit arts organization, conducted the study, which documents the impact of the cultural industry in 156 communities.  The report can be downloaded at alexandriava.gov.

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Commission for the Arts “are proud to have been active partners in this groundbreaking study,” Euille said.

He added that the results establish the arts and cultural industry as a major factor in Alexandrias economy.  Alexandria is very lucky to have such an active and diverse arts community,” Euille said. “The impact the arts has made on our community is very obvious.”

On a scheduling note, “artCHAT” will be held Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m., at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Residents can come and discuss the survey withMary Margaret Schoenfeld, Community Development Manager with Americans for the Arts, and members of the local arts community. 

Admission to artCHAT and to the Torpedo Factory Art Center are both free.

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