The state’s leading arts and culture advocacy organization providing vision, leadership, and resources to ensure the growth, prosperity and sustainability of arts and culture in Georgia!
Arts and Economic Prosperity 6

Arts and Economic Prosperity 6

Georgians for the Arts is seeking eligible partners throughout the State of Georgia to help with the Arts and Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) research project led by Americans for the Arts.

As a partner with Georgians for the Arts, research fees are discounted by up to 50% off independent research reports.

An information session was held in late September, in which you can view the recording and the slide deck. For more information or to inquire about how to become a partner, contact Patrick Kelsey at or (718) 689-0620.

Arts advocates know the arts provide numerous benefits, however, the economic impact of the arts resonates best with policymakers and the budgets they control. To that end, every arts advocate should have the best economic research available to make the case for better public policy.

Our goal is to recruit as many partners representing every region, county, city, town, and municipality in Georgia. Every partner, big or small, will have an impact on the research and findings. The more partners participating, the less the cost for all.

When completed, AEP6 will be the first authoritative report to show Georgia’s prosperity related to arts and its economic impact. No other organization or agency has research of this nature. Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) did not include any state-level research or reporting.

Currently, AEP 5 economic prosperity data is limited to National findings and very select parts of Georgia. AEP reports are available for Columbia County, the City of Savannah, Macon-Bibb County, Richmond County, the City of Atlanta, Fulton County, the Greater Augusta Area, Metro Atlanta, and the Greater Atlanta Region. Arts advocates and policymakers in every other county, city, town, or municipality were required to conduct their own independent research or to estimate economic impact through the Economic Prosperity Calculator.

Georgia needs this information from an authoritative source to make the best case to our policymakers at all levels of government that the arts mean business!

Contact us to sign on as a partner to AEP6!

Information Session

About the Arts & Economic Prosperity Research Project

Americans for the Arts seeks local arts agency partners to participate in AEP6, our sixth national economic impact study of America’s nonprofit arts and culture industry. As a partner, you can choose to focus on an individual city or town, a county, a multi-county region, or an entire state, and you will receive a unique economic impact report customized for your community.

As communities reopen, it will be more important than ever to demonstrate that, even in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the arts provide a significant boost as we recharge the economy. The arts will draw people out of their homes and back into community life—spending time with each other, spending their money with local merchants, and kickstarting cultural tourism. Studies indicate that audiences are eager to return, and we’ll be there (with our AEP6 partners) to capture it when they do!

The Study Process and Outcome

AEP6 data collection will be completed throughout the calendar year 2022, and reports will be released in June 2023. Surveys will request information about FY22 budgets and attendance in order to provide an additional year of daylight between the pandemic and the study data.

The previous study, AEP5, revealed that the nonprofit arts were a $166.3 billion industry in 2015—$63.8 billion in spending by arts organizations, and an additional $102.5 billion in event-related spending by audiences. This economic activity supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in government revenue. The arts, unlike most industries, leverage additional spending by their audiences—$31.47 per person, per event not including the cost of admission on meals and beverages, retail shopping, transportation, and lodging. AEP6 provides the opportunity to get similar findings that are customized for your community.

No state-level findings are available for Georgia!

Pricing & Membership Discounts

Important Note: Georgians for the Arts Partners receive up to a 50% discount from Non-Partner Fees.

Fees for statewide partners are calculated individually based on the size and scope of the required data collection effort and the complexity of the economic modeling.

Fees can be paid in installments across three years.

Non-partner fees are $6,000 for regions with a population of fewer than 100,000 people and $9,000 for regions with a population of 100,000 or more people. Local communities that include multiple counties and/or cross state lines require an additional fee of $1,200 due to complexities in data analysis and economic modeling

This study is subsidized in part by the Ruth Lilly Fund for Americans for the Arts

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does AEP6 address issues such as equity and inclusion?

Yes. Americans for the Arts has made the important decision to address equity and inclusion as a critical component to the AEP6 study’s methodology, organizational participation, collection of data, and communications strategy.

AFTA contracted with an equity consultant to help center the perspective of BIPOC arts communities throughout the entire AEP6 study process. Melissa Cherry is the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Senior Vice President at the Miles Partnership, a large strategic marketing and research consultancy. Formerly, she was COO and Chief Marketing Officer for Destinations International (the international trade association for CVBs, and a long-time AEP national partner), and led the cultural tourism initiatives for the cities of Los Angeles and Chicago. Her knowledge, skills, and experience overlap with this important conversation about DEI and the AEP6 study—which is largely a story about the impact of cultural tourism.

Melissa and her team will work side-by-side with Americans for the Arts to center equity across all aspects of the AEP6 study—from the design of the survey instruments and the data collection protocols; to developing resources that will assist the study partners with identifying, engaging with, and gaining support/participation from the BIPOC arts and culture organizations in their community; to developing a messaging and communications strategy that will help AFTA share information before/during/after the study, with an intentional focus on communicating the value to and impact of the BIPOC arts community.

These efforts will include quarterly webinars with AEP study partners, so that you and your team remain up to date with our efforts and put them to use. We are also thrilled to announce that Americans for the Arts will hire an AEP6 Community Engagement and Research Equity Fellow. This full-time position will work closely with the research team, Miles Partnership, and our state and local partners, as we implement this critical work.

Q: How is “eligible” being defined?

The research will use a broad definition of the nonprofit arts and culture sector, based on the National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (the coding system the IRS uses to characterize tax-exempt organizations). All of the following types of organizations, departments, divisions, programs, and facilities are included:

  • Traditional nonprofit arts and culture organizations (e.g., museums, theaters, etc.)
  • Municipally-owned and municipally-operated presenting facilities or institutions (e.g., a city-operated facility)
  • Unincorporated community arts and culture organizations (e.g., a community theater)
  • Arts programs embedded in non-arts organizations (e.g., an arts program in a church, library, or senior center)
  • Living collections such as botanical gardens, zoos, and aquariums
  • Historical societies and other historical or historic preservation organizations
  • Private arts councils (and cultural alliances, etc.)
  • Municipal arts agencies (e.g., an arts commission or a department of cultural affairs)
  • In most cases, our study partner should complete the survey for their organization
  • In short, if it displays the characteristics of a nonprofit arts and culture organization and has an identifiable budget/attendance and leadership, study partners are encouraged to include them
  • The significant exception—For-profit/commercial businesses and individual artists are EXCLUDED from the methodology for this study

Q: Are the economic impact surveys the same for the small organizations with a budget of $50K or less than larger organizations?

No. Small budget organizations have fewer questions and are not being asked for as much detail.

The organizational survey will utilize logic (e.g., skipping and branching) so that smaller organizations will only be asked for top-line data only. Larger organizations will be asked for a bit more detail. However, the entire survey will be streamlined significantly from past AEP studies.

Q: As a partner organization, how much of my time will this take?

First, it differs from community to community, and it will largely depend on your ability to obtain cooperation and support from the other arts organizations in the community. It will also depend on how many state-wide partners join the study.

Web-Based Surveys

Each partner should estimate up to approximately ten minutes per eligible organization during the study for each web-based survey. This time would also include compiling and cleaning the list of eligible organizations located in the community and following up with organizations that decline to participate.

For example, if there are 100 eligible organizations in your community, you should estimate a total of about 16 hours between January 2022 and March 2023 (15 months).

Audience-Intercept Surveys

For each audience-intercept survey, organizations should estimate up to approximately two minutes per completed audience-intercept survey. This time would include selecting the events to be surveyed, organizing the staff/volunteers to undertake the surveying process, collecting the intercept surveys, and returning paper surveys to Americans for the Arts.

The estimate reflects that partners will successfully gain the cooperation of the organizations in the community and that those organizations will do the actual data collection. Therefore, partner time requirements would be limited to providing direction and materials needed.

For example, based on the minimum quota of 800 audience-intercept surveys, in the entire research area and collected by all eligible participating organizations, estimate a total of approximately 27 hours between January and December 2022 (12 months)

Q: Is any of the AEP6 research related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)?

AEP6 will provide a tool designed to help partners identify arts and culture organizations in their community whose mission or primary purpose is to serve Black, Indigenous, Native American, Latinx, Chicanx, Arab, MENASA (Middle Eastern, North African, South Asian), Asian, Pacific Islander, and/or other communities of color as well as those who celebrate the artistry or histories of a specific ethnic or cultural group (Americans for the Arts upholds the Cultural New Deal and supports the identity classifications listed therein).

The data collection process will indicate surveys received from these organizations, allowing the reporting to quantify their economic impact as a subset of the overall findings for each participating community.

This type of research study is at the start of the conversation around the economic impact of the arts and equitable arts economies. AEP6 study will not be positioned to answer every question that needs to be answered because the research emphasis relates to economic impact. Still, the goal is to advance the conversation while maintaining the ability to deliver the economic impact data required to drive successful future advocacy efforts.

Q: If my organization, town, city, or region does not pursue a custom report, what would we get if we participated in AEP6 to collect data?

All organizations state-wide will receive free access to two AEP6 products. The first product is a detailed report on the economic prosperity of arts and culture in the State of Georgia. Georgia has never had this report, but, as an example, see the State of Florida. Also, Georgia would have a state-specific arts and economic prosperity calculator customized to our economic environment. A calculator is available, but it uses national data without considering costs of living, metro-to-rural, etc. Click here for the current national AEP5 calculator. Without a custom report, the calculator can help to show how individual organizations, for example, impacts their community. It is a powerful tool to help with public policy, funders, and other supporters. If a custom report is prepared, and a more specific calculator may be available to distinguish, for example, the entire state compared to Atlanta.

Q: Who should support AEP6 in Georgia?

The short answer is every organization and government entity. The final report will be a tool to educate policymakers, funders, etc., using a methodology superior to most economic impact research studies. It is expected to be valid data for about five years or until AEP7.

More specifically, we would categorize three types of supporters.

  1. Partners. We need at a minimum of six partners to help facilitate large-scale data collection and help cover the study’s cost. It is expected that these partners will have a custom report.
  2. Contributors. Beyond regions where Partners collect data, individual organizations can support AEP6 by reporting their information and collect data from its audiences.
  3. Funders. State-wide research studies such as AEP6 take time and money. The amount of money is largely dependent upon how broad the reach. To that end, Partners are expected to pay a more prominent, discounted fee for their participation with the benefit of a custom report. However, all organizations, big or small, foundations, corporations, or individuals who see the value in economic impact data are encouraged to contribute. Contributions help underwrite the costs Georgians for the Arts will incur to make a free state-wide report available to everyone.

Q: How much data is needed, and who will facilitate the collection?

There are two types of data AEP6 required for a state-wide report.

Audience Data. A minimum of 2,000 audience surveys is needed. We feel that for AEP6 to be a true success with the most accurate data possible, we require six partners responsible for collecting 800 surveys through the organizations in their region.

For example, Macon Arts Alliance, as a Partner, will be in contact with all eligible organizations in the Macon-Bibb region, and the aggregate number of audience surveys from all the eligible organizations will be 800 or more.

Contributors at the organizational level, not already covered by a partner, will work directly with Georgians for the Arts. Contributors will not be required to complete 800 audience surveys but will be required to collect enough audience surveys to have a good representation for their community.

Organizational Data. AEP 6 reports on two pillars of economic impact. The impact audiences have on their community, and the impact organizations have on their community. To that end, all organizations will be expected to report data through an online survey.

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 is Americans for the Arts’ fifth study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry’s impact on the economy. It documents the economic contributions of the arts in 341 diverse communities and regions across the country, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion of economic activity during 2015—$63.8 billion in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $102.5 billion in event-related expenditures by their audiences. This activity supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments (a yield well beyond their collective $5 billion in arts allocations).

By every measure, the results are impressive. This study puts to rest a misconception that communities support arts and culture at the expense of local economic development. In fact, communities are investing in an industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism. Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 shows conclusively that, locally as well as nationally, the arts mean business!

SouthArts-Region State Reports

North Carolina
South Carolina