Arts & Economic Prosperity Study 2022-2023 (AEP6)


The AEP Study, which is conducted every five years, is a national economic impact study of America’s nonprofit arts and cultural industry conducted by Americans for the Arts. Building on its 25-year legacy, the highly regarded Arts & Economic Prosperity series once again documents in unprecedented scope and detail the economic and social power that nonprofit arts and culture wield in 375+ participating communities representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.


The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County announced that Fairfield County’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $255.3 million in economic activity in 2022, according to the newly released Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), an economic and social impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts. That economic activity–$179.7 million in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and $75.6 million in event-related expenditures by their audiences supported 4,015 jobs and generated $62.6 million in local, state, and federal government revenue. Spending by arts and culture audiences generates valuable commerce for local merchants, a value-add that few other industries can compete with.

Building on its 30-year legacy as the largest and most inclusive study of its kind, AEP6 uses a rigorous methodology to document the economic and social contributions of the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry. The study demonstrates locally and nationally that arts and culture are a critical economic driver of vibrant communities.

Erika K. Wesley, Executive Director of the Cultural Alliance, says “This data highlights art and culture’s economic value in Coastal Fairfield Country and how art and culture provide a sense of belonging and inclusion among residents of all ages that drives a sense of pride in our individual and collective communities. AEP6 provides arts and art institutions with a data-driven pathway to engage with stakeholders and secure funds to support their creative work”.

Nationally, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) study reveals that America’s nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $151.7 billion industry—one that supports 2.6 million jobs and generates $29.1 billion in government revenue.

“Arts and culture organizations have a powerful ability to attract and hold dollars in the community longer. They employ people locally, purchase goods and services from nearby businesses, and produce the authentic cultural experiences that are magnets for visitors, tourists, and new residents,” said Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “When we invest in nonprofit arts and culture, we strengthen our economy and build more livable communities.”

AEP6 represents a reset from its previous versions, establishing a new benchmark in the AEP study series.

Social Impact: For the first time, AEP6 expands beyond the economic and financial data to include social impact measurements of arts and culture’s effect on the well-being of communities and residents.

Equity and Inclusion: AEP6 broke new ground by prioritizing equity, community engagement, and inclusivity. Intending to reduce systemic bias, Americans for the Arts transformed its approach and expanded the inclusion and participation of organizations serving or representing BIPOC- (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and ALAANA- (African, Latine, Asian, Arab, Native American) identifying communities.

Nationally, the extensive research reveals proportional economic and community impacts among attendees at BIPOC and ALAANA organizations to the overall national average. These findings should initiate new and escalate existing, critical funding conversations about BIPOC and ALAANA organizations receiving fair and proportional financial support.

AEP6 demonstrates the significant economic and social benefits that arts and culture brings to their communities, states, and the nation. To amplify the study results and raise awareness of these widespread benefits with public and private-sector leaders, seventeen national organizations partnered with Americans for the Arts on AEP6:

Actors’ Equity Association

African Diaspora Consortium

Arts & Planning Division (American Planning Association)

Black Legislative Leaders Network

Department for Professional Employees

AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations)

Destinations International

International City/County Management Association

Independent Sector

National Association of Counties

National Conference of State Legislatures

National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations

National Independent Venue Association

National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women

Race Forward

Recording Industry Association of America

The Conference Board

U.S. Conference of Mayors

By measuring arts and culture’s wide-ranging impact, public and private sector leaders can work together to secure funding and arts-friendly policies that shape more vibrant and equitable communities.

The full report, a map of the 373 study regions, and a two-page economic impact summary for each can be found at



Randy Cohen, VP for Research at Americans for the Arts, will join us for a Data Walk and Talk on April 3rd at the Knowlton in the Armstrong Gallery in Bridgeport, CT. To register, click here.

About Randy Cohen

Randy publishes Americans Speak Out About the Arts, the nation’s largest public opinion study on the arts, and produces Arts & Economic Prosperity and Creative Industries, a mapping study of the nation’s arts businesses and their employees. His annual “10 Reasons to Support the Arts” received the Gold Award from the Association of Media & Publishing for best blog post of the year. Randy led the development of The National Arts Index, the annual measure of the health and vitality of arts in the U.S. and the National Arts Policy Roundtable, an annual convening of leaders who focus on the advancement of American culture—launched in partnership with Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute.