HILL CITY -- A recent study found that the Rushmore Region’s nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $114.3 million industry, supporting nearly 3,600 jobs and and generating $10 million in revenue for state and local government.
Called the Arts and Economic Prosperity Study®, it was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. The Rapid City Arts Council facilitated the study on behalf of the Black Hills region, including Butte, Custer, Fall River, Lawrence, Meade, Oglala Lakota and Pennington counties.
“Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations are businesses in their own right,” the study’s authors concluded. “They spent $23 million during fiscal year 2015 to employ people locally, purchase goods and services from local establishments, and attract tourists.”
The organizations also leveraged $91.3 million in additional spending by cultural audiences—spending that pumps vital revenue into restaurants, hotels, retail stores, parking garages, and other local businesses.
This study puts to rest a misconception that communities support arts and culture at the expense of local economic development. In fact, communities that support the arts and culture are investing in an industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism.