Alexandria a Top ArtPlace with $70.7 Million Arts Impact March 5, 2013

Nonprofit Arts & Culture Organizations

Generate $70.7 Million in Economic Impact for Alexandria

City Recognized as one of 44 Top ArtPlaces in the U.S.

Alexandria, VA - The City of Alexandria Office of the Arts and Visit Alexandria announced a $70.7 million in economic impact for the arts at an event on March 5, 2013. During the program, the city was recognized as one of 44 Top ArtPlaces in the U.S.

The city's arts economic impact figures are from the Arts and Economic Prosperity IV national study conducted by Americans for the Arts, the country's leading nonprofit arts advocacy organization. Using data from 2010, the study shows that the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $70.7 million in annual economic activity in Alexandria.

$70.7 million in spending includes:
• $26.1 million by nonprofit arts and culture organizations
• $44.6 million in event-related spending by their audiences
• $4.8 million in local and state government revenue
• Almost $38 million in household income to local residents
• 1,774 full-time equivalent jobs

$44.6 million in event-related spending by audiences of Alexandria's nonprofit arts and culture industry directly supports the city's non-arts businesses. As a result of attending a cultural event, attendees often eat dinner in local restaurants, pay for parking, buy gifts and souvenirs, and pay a babysitter. What's more, attendees from out of town often stay overnight in a local hotel. Audiences in Alexandria surveyed as part of the study report spending an average of $19 above the admission price when attending a cultural event in Alexandria.

Randy Cohen, Americans for the Arts' Vice President of Research and Policy, presented the study's findings to Alexandria leaders, stakeholders, and arts organizations at the March 5 event, and provided strategies for the local community to leverage the impact figures to gain support for arts programs.

"This study shines a much-needed light on the vital role the arts play in stimulating and sustaining economic development," said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, in a statement. "Contrary to popular belief, the arts are a bustling industry that supports a plethora of diverse jobs, generates significant revenues for local businesses and to federal, state and local governments and provides quality of life that positions communities to compete in our 21st century creative economy."

The Arts and Economic Prosperity IV study is part of the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States and shows that the arts industry also helps to support other local businesses. For more information about the study, visit

For the Alexandria study, visit

PDF of study: 

Alexandria was recognized as one of America's Top ArtPlaces, among 44 communities named in 2013. America's Top ArtPlaces are neighborhoods where the arts are central to creating the kinds of places where people want to live, work and visit. The accolade heralds Alexandria as a community with a "backbone of creative culture . . . exceptionally successful at combining art, artists and venues for creativity and expression with independent businesses, retail shops and restaurants, and a walkable lifestyle to make vibrant neighborhoods." Lyz Crane, Director of Partnerships and Special Projects for ArtPlace, presented a certificate to the city.


Diane Ruggiero, Deputy Director, Office of the Arts, City of Alexandria Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities Department

Claire Mouledoux, Communications Manager, Visit Alexandria

Arts image bank:

Economic impact study:

PDF of study:

About Americans for the Arts
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.

About ArtPlace
ArtPlace is a collaboration of 13 leading national and regional foundations, eight federal agencies including the National Endowment for the Arts, and six of the nation's largest banks to accelerate creative placemaking across the U.S.

About the City of Alexandria Office of the Arts
The Office of The Arts promotes the value of arts and culture in the City of Alexandria by nurturing, investing in and celebrating the creative contributions of artists and arts organizations. Through engaging the community, encouraging participation, and facilitating access to the arts, the Office strives to build a vibrant community for all of the City's residents, workers and visitors.

About Visit Alexandria
Visit Alexandria is a private nonprofit membership organization composed of 350 members from a variety of local industries including arts organizations and historic attractions. Visit Alexandria seeks to build and market an image of Alexandria as a premier destination in order to promote a healthy, dynamic, growing economy for the benefit of our citizens and business owners. $711 million in annual visitor spending generates 23.1 million in City taxes, and tourism directly supports over 6,000 jobs in Alexandria with a payroll of $118 million.