The economic impact of arts and culture

The arts mean business in Tampa Bay

Arts, culture, and the creative economy

The arts provide inspiration and joy to residents, beautify public spaces, and strengthen the social fabric of our communities. Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations are also vibrant, productive businesses. They employ people locally, purchase goods and services from other local businesses, and attract tourists, businesses, and new residents to our area.

When patrons attend a cultural event, they may pay to park their car, purchase dinner at a restaurant, shop in nearby stores, and eat dessert after the show. Attendees from out of town often spend the night in a hotel. This spending generates related commerce for local businesses such as restaurants, parking garages, retail stores, and hotels. Local businesses that cater to arts and culture audiences reap the rewards of this economic activity. Both directly and indirectly, the arts play a leading role boosting Hillsborough County’s economy.

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A $433 million industry

The Arts Council partnered with the Americans for the Arts to conduct a detailed study into the economic impact of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and their audiences in Hillsborough County.

The results of the study found nonprofit arts and culture was a $433 million industry in Hillsborough County. One that supports 15,000 full-time equivalent jobs and generated more than $52 million in local and state government revenue. These facts prove the return on investment is significant and make a powerful case for supporting arts and culture in Hillsborough County.
"Understanding and acknowledging the incredible economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture, we must always remember their fundamental value. They foster beauty, creativity, originality, and vitality. The arts inspire us, soothe us, provoke us, involve us, and connect us. But they also create jobs and contribute to the economy."
— Robert L. Lynch President and CEO, Americans for the Arts
“The Arts Industry creates jobs, generates revenue, builds tourism and enhances our overall quality of life. The (Americans for the Arts) report clearly shows that our $433 million nonprofit Arts Industry is a cultural benefit to our community, and a strong economic driver in Hillsborough County.”
— Former County Commissioner Victor D. Crist
“In Hillsborough County, we are building a high-quality community that is attractive to the best and brightest minds. The impact of the arts in our community is invaluable to setting us apart from our competitors and to inspiring innovation and discovery to drive our economy.”
— Ron Barton Assistant County Administrator for Economic Prosperity Hillsborough County

Beyond Tampa Bay

According to the latest report of the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA), produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts, the arts and cultural sector contributed $804.2 billion or 4.3 percent to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) per year—nearly five times greater than that of the agricultural sector. The arts and culture do more than bring us joy and inspiration, they also play a significant role in the economic activity of America.

Discover more

For a more detailed look into how the arts help fuel our local economy, we invite you to download our full “Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Report, Hillsborough County” publication. We are grateful to the Hillsborough County Economic Development Department and Gobioff Foundation for their support, which enabled us to obtain these results.