WUFT News

Arts and culture organizations bolster Alachua County economy

By on September 25th, 2012

Recent research shows nonprofit arts and culture organizations have a large economic impact on Alachua County. These organizations also provide thousands of jobs.

Americans for the Arts released a study showing nonprofit arts and culture organizations generated $85.5 million in total economic activity during 2010 and supported more than 2,000 full time equivalent jobs.

Russell Etling, cultural affairs programs coordinator for the City of Gainesville, says 31 organizations participated in the study. About 825 audience surveys were completed.

“These amenities, really, are one of the foundations that keep our community economically thriving and growing.”

He said he believes the arts are an important part of the community, but the study helps to quantify what that means.

Alachua County is home to the Hippodrome Theater, in addition to the Dance Alive National Ballet and the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra.

Jessica Hurov is the director of marketing for the Hippodrome. She says the amount of money the theatre makes directly affects the local economy.

Hurov said the Hippodrome has 30 full-time employees, about 20 part time and about 15 interns.

“I think that the arts in Alachua County are the equivalent that you would have in one of Florida’s bigger cities like Tampa, Miami, Orlando,” Hurov said. “We are at that level, even though on a map we’re a much smaller city.”

The Hippodrome attracts more than 200,000 visitors each year. Out-of-county travel accounts for 15 percent of total visitors.

These travelers from outside Alachua County have a large impact on the local economy because they are likely to purchase gas and meals, as well as possibly staying at a bed and breakfast or hotel, according to Hurov.

“Not only are we fulfilling the human soul with the work that we do culturally and spiritually,” Etling said. “But we’re also bolstering the economic matrix that makes our community run and grow.”

The bottom line? The arts mean business.

Hannah Schrader contributed to this story. 


This entry was posted in Arts and Entertainment, Local and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Arts and Entertainment

Photo2 (1)

Couple Travels North Central Florida Teaching Blues In Schools

Gainesville couple Mark and Barbara Armbrecht travel North Central Florida to teach the blues in schools. Their work is a part of a blues society program aiming to spread blues education to school children.


Custom-made spray-painted picture discs retail at $30 each. They are unplayable, but they’re also one of a kind.

Gainesville Record Fair Brings Joy To Vinyl Enthusiasts

The third Annual Gainesville Record Fair took place Sudnay at The Wooly in Downtown Gainesville. The fair featured 20 sellers and 25 tables.


Downtown Gainesville’s historic Bo Diddley Plaza will be fenced off for renovations on March 1. Nathalie McCrate, a project manager for the Gainesville CRA, said the CRA has done extensive community outreach to ensure a smooth transition for its homeless inhabitants.

Bo Diddley Plaza Renovations Bring In New Era

Bo Diddley Plaza in downtown Gainesville is closing Sunday for renovations. The renovations are expected to last one year and will include additions to the performance area, a new café, an informational kiosk and relocating an existing bus stop.


Nava Ottenberg has led the plan for installing public art downtown. Ottenberg stands outside Persona, her vintage shop downtown, next to Peruvian artist Victor Delfín’s stag sculpture. Ottenberg is inspired by travelling the world and seeing art in other cultures. Italy is her favorite travel spot. Christine Flammia/ WUFT NEWS

Local Activists Bring Art Ventures To Gainesville

A Peruvian artist’s scrap metal rooster inspired local community activists to start a downtown art movement. The creators hope it will attract more locals to Gainesville’s art scene.


DSCN5349

Traveling Exhibit Remembers Florida Blues History

Blues music has taken over Gainesville in the form of an exhibit at the Matheson History Museum. “Florida’s Got the Blues” runs through April 30 and showcases the history of blues music in North Central Florida.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments