June 23, 2024 1:02 am
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Study finds Savannah’s nonprofit arts and culture industry dollars exceed national averages

Credit: Benjamin Payne/GPB News

By Benjamin Payne, GPB News

Nonprofit arts and culture nonprofit organizations in Savannah generate more economic activity than most areas of similar size, according to a new study by Americans for the Arts.

The group’s “Arts & Economic Prosperity 6” report, which analyzed spending across 373 regions in the U.S. in 2022, found that expenditures by Savannah arts and culture nonprofits totaled $35.4 million — slightly higher than the population cohort average of $33.8 million and about three times higher than the median of $12.8 million.

Savannah’s population cohort included 63 cities and counties with populations between 100,000 and 249,999. Savannah’s population was listed as 145,403.

Spending by audiences related to nonprofit arts and culture events totaled $85.1 million (about 60% spent by nonresidents), which was more than twice the average of $35.8 million and more than five times the median of $16.8 million.

The study did not analyze ticket revenues, but rather money spent related to events, such as meals and lodging. Nor did it examine spending by for-profit companies and their audiences.

Savannah Cultural Resources Department director Stuart Miller said in a statement that the study shows arts and culture are “a powerful economic engine” for Savannah, and that the city has “one of the most vibrant creative economies in Georgia.”

Local tax revenue generated by arts and culture nonprofit activities totaled $2.7 million, which exceeded the average of $2.1 million and tripled the median of $908,000.

This story comes to Savannah Sun Times through a reporting partnership with GPB News, a non-profit newsroom covering the state of Georgia.

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