Arts and Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) is the latest study by Americans for the Arts, evaluating the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture sector in the U.S. It is the most extensive study of its kind, examining 387 communities across all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The study, conducted every five years, builds awareness of the complex impact of the arts beyond cultural enrichment, emphasizing its role in job creation, government revenue generation, and tourism. The findings will inform local strategies for economic recovery, aid policymakers in recognizing the arts' significance, guide nonprofit leaders in achieving their missions, and empower arts advocates to communicate their importance.
The City of Bellevue participated for the first time in producing city-specific and broader Eastside King County results. See below for the complete reports, one-page summaries, and a helpful calculator to estimate your organization’s impact.
- Full report for the City of Bellevue here.
- One-page summary for the City of Bellevue here.
- Full report for the Eastside here.
- One-page summary for the Eastside here.
- Organizations in Bellevue and in Eastside King County can download this calculator to estimate their organization’s impact on the economy. More details about the calculator can be found on page 28 of the full Eastside report.
Economic & Social Impact
Nonprofit arts and culture organizations are businesses. They employ people locally, purchase supplies and services from nearby businesses, and market and promote their cities and regions. In the City of Bellevue, nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent an estimated $10.8 million, which supported 183 jobs and generated $2.3 million in local, state, and federal government revenue.
Arts and Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) provides compelling evidence that the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in Bellevue—one that generated $54.3 million in total economic activity during 2022. This spending—$10.8 million by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and an additional $43.5 million in event-related spending by their audiences—supports 592 jobs, generates $31.3 million in household income for local residents, and delivers $10.5 million in tax revenues to local, state, and federal governments. This study strongly signals that, even in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting recession, nonprofit arts and culture are formidable industries. AEP6 demonstrates that when we support the arts, we invest in Bellevue’s economic and community well-being.
Overall, attendees spent $49.07 per person per event in Bellevue, beyond the cost of admission. These dollars represent vital income for local merchants and a value-add with which few industries can compete.
In the vibrant tapestry of community life, 84.2% of Bellevue attendees expressed that the activity or venue they were attending was a source of neighborhood pride for the community. Reflecting on a connection to place, 82.9% of attendees said they would feel a sense of loss if that activity or venue was no longer available. Furthermore, a shared vision for the future emerged, with 82.4% of attendees saying it was important that future generations also be able to have the same cultural experience.
For 77% of respondents in Bellevue, the primary purpose of their visit was to attend that cultural event. When we asked their local counterparts what they would have done if the event where they were surveyed had not been available, 51% said they would have “traveled to a different community to attend a similar arts or cultural activity,”—and 64% of nonlocal visitors would have traveled to another community as well. Vibrant arts communities attract visitors who spend money and help local businesses thrive. They also keep residents spending money locally—a value-add that few industries can compete with.
Arts and culture strengthen the visitor economy. In the City of Bellevue, 19.6% of attendees were nonlocal visitors who traveled from outside King County and spent an average of $108.35 beyond the admission price. Additionally, 78.1% of nonlocal attendees reported that the primary purpose of their visit was to attend the performance, event, exhibit, venue, or facility where they were surveyed.