New study shows impact of the arts in Western Connecticut!

We appreciate the support and participation of everyone who contributed to this important research. We also thank Americans for the Arts for producing this valuable tool. To DECD CT Office of the Arts for funding, we could not have done it without you.
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We took a look at Greater Danbury.

May 2022, the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut joined 373 regional study partners across the USA to assist in the data collection for the Arts and Economic Prosperity 6 study (AEP6) led by the Americans for the Arts. This research project, supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Office of the Arts, was conducted throughout Greater Danbury and across the State of Connecticut as part of a national effort to help explore how arts and culture impact the economy. The Alliance undertook a two-part data collection process in the following 10-town region represented by Western Connecticut Council of Governments: Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield, and Sherman.

How we counted the impact of arts and culture.

Audience-Intercept Surveys
Over 800 surveys collected between May 2022 and April 2023. Audience-Intercept Surveys sought anonymous feedback from patrons of arts and cultural events within our coverage area. Survey questions primarily focused on how attendees contributed economically to each community because of their event attendance, such as if they paid for a ticket, dining, lodging, among others. Satisfaction and demographic questions were also included. 

Organizational Surveys  

Collected between February 2023 and June 2023 from 58 organizations. Organizational Surveys sought feedback from eligible nonprofit arts and cultural organizations within our coverage area and included questions related to budget and attendance. 

Understand the value of this study. 

Arts advocates know the arts provide tremendous societal benefits. However, the economic impact of the arts resonates best with policymakers and the budgets they control. All arts advocates should have the best economic research available to make the case for better public policy. Data continues to show that arts and culture are vital to local economies. By surveying communities now, especially as we work through a pandemic, we can continue to gather data that proves the arts are worthy of support from government, businesses, and individuals interested in strengthening our region.

No other report provides these insights, which can also be useful for fundraising, including pitching to private donors and foundations, or completing grant requirements. Having relevant data in a single study cuts down on research time, too!

Findings at a glance

MILLION In economic activity

MILLION In spending by Arts & Cultural Organizations

MILLION generated in event related expenditures

MILLION provided in personal income to residents

MILLION generated in tax revenue for local, state, and federal governments

THOUSAND jobs were supported

Want more information?

Find out how arts and culture nonprofits are economic engines driving local prosperity—and the numbers to prove it.