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Economic Development: The Public Benefit
Key Research

“Our nonprofit cultural organizations have a $4 billion annual impact on our state economy and are a key factor in our state’s economic recovery.”

--Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick
November 2011

Mass. Arts and Culture Nonprofits Key to $4.6B in Annual Spending
More than 8,000 arts and cultural nonprofits in Massachusetts, which employ 27,100 people, spend $2.1 billion annually and generate another $2.5 billion of economic activity across the state, according to a newly released study of the impact of the creative sector.

The 2011 report, commissioned by Boston-based New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), noted that the creative sector has a major impact on the larger economy and is "a steady, reliable industry, less subject to the cyclical ups and downs of the overall economy than the average New England business."

Public Investment for Public Value: MCC's Cultural Investment Portfolio
State investment in nonprofit arts, humanities, and science organizations yields returns in economic impact and increasing public access, according to the information gathered from the Massachusetts Cultural Data Project. According to a one-year snapshot, roughly 400 organizations funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC):

  • Pumped $1.2 billion into the state’s economy through direct spending.
  • Employed more than 14,000 individuals, full-time and part-time.
  • Employed another 13,700 independent contractors.
  • Delivered public programs that drew nearly 29 million people - more than 18 million attended for free!
  • Served 3.6 million children with arts, history, and science education programs.
  • Generated more than $121 million in individual contributions from residents of Massachusetts and beyond.

The Mass. Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF): Creative Jobs, Revitalizing Communities
Over five years the CFF has invested more than $50 million in nonprofit arts and cultural building projects across Massachusetts. That public investment has yielded substantial return.

  • Organizations that received past CFF grants are spending more than $800 million on their building projects, and providing more than 11,000 building jobs, including architects, engineers, contractors, and construction workers.
  • They also plan to add more than 1,150 new permanent jobs after their capital projects are complete.
  • CFF grants have also helped restore many of our nation’s most historic landmarks and treasures, which in turn have brought more cultural tourists to Massachusetts.
  • An estimated 14 million people visit organizations receiving CFF grants every year; nearly one third come from out-of-state.
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