Performing Arts Hold Their Own
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it”
Those are the words of American author Henry David Thoreau more than 150 years ago. Time and Money: Using Federal Data to Measure the Value of Performing Arts Activities is a new research note from the National Endowment for the Arts that looks at the value of the arts in three ways: time spent on arts activities; organizational revenue and expenses; and direct consumer spending. A particular focus on performing arts data provides consistency across these three measurements.
The note draws on the most recent data available from the U.S. Economic Census, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), to arrive at monetary and non-monetary value measurements of the nation’s performing arts sector. Recent data show that performing arts organizations generated nearly $13.6 billion in revenues; Americans spent $14.5 billion on performing arts admissions, and on any given day, 1.5 million Americans attended arts performances, usually with family or friends.
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