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Arts & Culture is a $4.1 billion economic engine for Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s arts and cultural sector is a vital regional asset that supports thousands of jobs, benefits business and helps grow our economy. When you tally up the spending by arts and cultural organizations and their audiences, and how those cultural dollars ripple through our economy, the impact is profound.

$4.1 billion total economic impact

Cultural organizations and audiences contribute $1.9 billion in direct expenditures. These are the dollars spent by organizations to stage performances, produce exhibits, hire accountants, and pay bills and salaries. It is also spending by audiences at local restaurants, hotels and retail shops. As those dollars make their way through the economy, they trigger additional rounds of indirect spending that add up to another $2.2 billion in economic impact.

55,000 full-time equivalent jobs

This economic activity generates tens of thousands of jobs and benefits workers and businesses in every industry and every community. Of the roughly 55,000 full-time equivalent jobs that are supported by the sector, 7,700 are at cultural organizations and more than 47,525 are in other industries. These are jobs that provide paychecks not just to cultural staffers, but also to independent artists, designers and musicians; marketers, accountants and consultants; construction workers and contractors; and chefs, bartenders and hotel managers.

$1.3 billion in household income

The jobs that are created by arts and culture return $1.3 billion back to our communities as household income. This is money in the pockets and checkbooks of our region’s residents that is used to buy groceries, pay rent and utilities, and start new business.

$224.3 million in state and local taxes

Arts and culture are a revenue generator for both the Commonwealth and for local governments throughout the region. Cultural fueled economic activity generates $125.6 million in state taxes and $98.7 million for local municipalities. These much-needed tax dollars help pay for crucial public services such as schools, public safety and health services.

For a more detailed analysis, check out the Cultural Alliance’s economic impact report, Agenda: Prosperity.