Economic Impact Study

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The Results Are In - Arts and Culture Have a Big Impact on the Edmonds Economy 

With the conclusion of the Arts and Culture Economic Impact study, the results are in: the arts and culture sector in Edmonds means big business. The sector supports Edmonds’ overall economic health and community vibrancy, while strengthening the community’s regional image. And there are at least 100 arts/culture-related organizations, programs, and businesses in Edmonds, serving a full range of residents and visitors.

What’s more, we have facts and figures to back up these conclusions. Through surveys of 1,354 arts/culture event-goers and/or online survey participants, as well as information gathered from 40 non- and for-profit arts/culture businesses, the study was able to estimate a range of economic impact that the arts and culture sector generates. 

As reported in a City Council briefing on February 6
th, with an estimated $19 million in direct revenues received by the arts and culture organizations and businesses, that translates into over $50 million in economic impact to the Edmonds region, and up to 440 full-time jobs. 

Read the full report and learn more about this important sector in the Edmonds economy and vital part of Edmonds’ quality of life and image in the region. For a summary of the study, you can review this brief brochure here

Public Comment - please add your comments on the study recommendations here.


Background Information

Why Conduct a Study?

Edmonds often refers to itself as an “arts community”, but what kind of economic impact does the arts and culture sector have in Edmonds? Home to over 20 nonprofit cultural organizations plus arts and culture retail businesses, Edmonds has a long history of attracting visitors for arts. The Edmonds Arts Festival has been a draw for 60 years, the Edmonds Center for the Arts opened 10 years ago and brings about 90,000 people through its doors a year, while the new Cascadia Art Museum attracted about 10,000 visitors in its first year. 

The Community Cultural Plan, first created in 1994 and facilitated by the Edmonds Arts Commission under the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department, focused on strengthening and promoting the arts in the 2014 update. The current study implements a key strategy in the 2014 Cultural Plan to conduct economic assessments of cultural tourism and the impact of arts and culture in the community. You may review the Plan here

What Was the Study Intended to Cover?

The City engaged BERK Consulting and AdvisArts to conduct the study of economic impact, gathering information from organizations in arts and culture and surveying participants in the arts.  The goals of the study included:

·         A profile of Edmonds’ arts and culture audiences, consumers, and donors, that focuses on spending habits, interests, and geographic origins.

·         An understanding of the economic impacts of attendance at and/or participation in events and activities related to arts and culture in Edmonds, including aggregated economic impact data for direct impact and secondary economic impact.

·         An expanded inventory of Edmonds’ not-for-profit, private and governmental arts and culture entities.

·         Recommendations for specific strategies to sustain and/or enhance the future environment for arts and culture in Edmonds and associated cultural tourism.

A written report, with executive summary and presentation will be shared with public, private and nonprofit leadership.

Who Was Involved?

The consultant work was conducted under the direction of City of Edmonds staff: Arts & Culture Manager Frances Chapin, Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Director Carrie Hite, and Economic Development/Community Services Director Patrick Doherty, together with the advice and valuable input of an Advisory Group of 13 community members formed to provide guidance and insight. Click here to see listing.