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 will once again document in unprecedented scope and detail the economic power that nonprofit arts and culture wield in 375+ participating communities representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

CAFC AEP6 Study Sponsor

OCT 19 Event Hosts

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

Stepping Stones Museum

OCT 19 Evening Sponsor

Morgan Stanley

Special thanks to Christian Templeman of Morgan Stanley and Felicity Kostakis for their generous help and support.

Fairfield County is an arts and culture mecca! Our artists and arts organizations make this region an awesome place to live, work and visit. In 2015, Fairfield County Arts and Culture nonprofits generated $235 million in economic activity ($149 million spent by organizations and $86 million spent by audiences). This spending supported 6,780 jobs and generated $20.6 million in revenue to local, and state governments. 

We have this data because of the Arts & Economic Prosperity Study, conducted every five years to gauge the economic impact (on employment, government revenue, and household income) of spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences.

The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County is one of 400 partners in the Sixth Arts & Economic Prosperity Study (AEP6), organized by Americans for the Arts. The Study has two main components, and the following is a report on each of these surveys:

Audience Survey: each of the partners agree to collect a minimum of 800 surveys of audience spending at cultural events in our region, with 20% from BIPOC or ALAANA organizations. So far, we have submitted 721 audience surveys completed at 21 cultural events. See progress here. Our goal is 800 surveys and the remaining 79 must all be from BIPOC or ALAANA organizations or events. If you are a BIPOC or ALANA organization, or are staging a relevant event, let us know if you would be willing to let us conduct an audience survey. Deadline: May 31st.

Organization Survey: 300 organizations in our region have been sent short surveys to complete about their spending and activity in their communities. Only 112 (39%) have been completed. Please respond to this survey ASAP, as together with the results of the Audience Surveys, this report can have a big impact on our advocacy with legislators and municipalities and show how valuable an investment in nonprofit arts and culture is. See the results of our 2015 study here.

Join CAFC as we lead arts and cultural organizations in our region in the Sixth Arts & Economic Prosperity Study.


Distribute & Collect Surveys at Your Events

  • ● Audience surveys will be collected from attendees at performances, events, exhibits, venues, and facilities from now through through April 2023. Venue Eligibility.
  • ● If you are interested in having your venue participate, please submit your live event for consideration HERE. For current Calendar of Events where the survey will be taken, click here.


If you are interested in volunteering, helping us collect surveys at cultural events, please contact David Green



Randy Cohen, VP for Research at Americans for the Arts, helped us launch the study by spending the day with us on Wednesday, October 19

10:00 am
Coffee & Info Session for CAFC Members
The Community-Building Power of the Arts
Stepping Stones Museum, NorwalkRandy addressed cultural nonprofit members and explained how members can participate in the study. 


12:30 pm

Luncheon & Discussion for Municipal, Economic Development & Chamber of Commerce Leaders
Strengthening Fairfield County through the Arts
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

Randy spoke about the value of the arts economy. Jason Patlis, President & CEO, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, and Sabrina Church, Director of Business Development & Tourism, City of Norwalk, also spoke. 


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.

Results from our 2015 Study

In 2015 some 800 valid audience-intercept surveys were collected from attendees at nonprofit arts and cultural performances, exhibitions and events. Researchers used an audience-intercept methodology, a standard technique in which patrons are asked to complete a short survey about their event-related spending (while they are attending the event).

● In 2015, Fairfield County Arts and Culture nonprofits generated $235 million in economic activity ($149 million spent by organizations and $86 million spent by audiences)
● This spending supported 6,780 jobs and generated $20.6 million in revenue to local, and state governments.

Nationally, nonprofit arts and culture generated $166.3 billion in economic activity, supporting 4.6 million jobs and generating $27.5 billion in government revenue. The AEP series demonstrates that an investment in the arts provides both cultural and economic benefits.

See all the results of the 2015 national, state and Fairfield County studies on our website here.