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2012 Media Releases

June 18, 2012
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 402-441-7831
Deb Weber, Lincoln Arts Council, 402-434-2787
Marjorie Maas, Nebraskans for the Arts,, 402-679-0459

New Study Shows Arts Have $53 Million Annual Impact on City

Mayor Chris Beutler and the Lincoln Arts Council (LAC) today released a study showing that the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $53.1 million in economic activity every year in Lincoln. That's according to Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, the most comprehensive economic impact study of the industry ever conducted in the U.S. The figure is a 47 percent increase over the $36 million impact reported in 2006 when Lincoln participated in Arts & Economic Prosperity III. The study also shows that Lincoln contributes about 30 percent of the $174.4 million generated by the industry every year in Nebraska.

"This important study shows that more than ever, the arts mean business in our city and state," said Mayor Chris Beutler. "We can take great pride in the fact that our arts and culture industry is expanding in our community. A vibrant and growing arts scene makes our city a better place to live, a better place to visit and a better place to do business."

The $53.1 million in economic activity generated in Lincoln includes more than $33.5 million spent by the organizations and another $19.6 million spent by audiences. The study shows that arts and cultural activities support 1,550 full-time equivalent jobs, providing $39.5 million in household income and delivering $5 million in local and state government tax revenue.

"In addition to creating jobs for arts professionals, the industry contributes to increased revenue for restaurants, shops, hotels and other businesses," said Deb Weber, Executive Director of the LAC which coordinated the local data collection. "We believe the figures represent a very conservative estimate of the many economic benefits our community receives from arts and cultural activity."

The study was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education..

"We fundamentally know how the arts enliven and bind together communities," said Marjorie Maas, Director of Nebraskans for the Arts, which was responsible for data collection statewide. "We also need to view them as part of an industry that gives back financially to their city and state."

The complete local study results will be posted on the LAC website at The national results are available at More information on Nebraskans for the Arts is available at

Mayor's Office
Media Releases