Spending on the arts in Seattle grew despite recession, study shows

Jun 11, 2012

Non-profit arts groups generated $447.6  million for Seattle’s economy in 2010. That’s over $1 million more than before the economic downturn, according to a recent study by Americans for the Arts, a national advocacy group.

Lori Patrick, a spokesperson from the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, says the arts have long played an important role in the city’s economy, and that people who attend cultural events end up supporting local businesses.

"In 2007, we saw an economic impact of $330 million annually. We're now up to $447 [million]," she says. "The numbers are increasing despite the recession. On any given night in Seattle, there are thousands of people that are going to theaters and concert halls and museums, and that cultural consumption also feeds restaurants, retail shops, parking garages."

The same goes for hotels, car rental services, and even babysitters.

The study also compared Seattle to other cultural hubs across the country. In terms of money generated from the arts, Seattle came out above cities including Austin, Baltimore, and Atlanta. Closer to home, revenue from the arts in Tacoma has nearly doubled since 2007. However, cultural programs in the greater Portland area generated around 70 million dollars less in 2010 than they did before the recession.