Groundbreaking Study Reveals $933.3 Million of Economic and Social Impact by Wisconsin’s Nonprofit Arts and Culture Sector

​​​Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 Study centers equity in economic research and highlights vital role of arts and culture in building more livable communities.​​

[Madison, WI] – Wisconsin's nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $93​3.3 million in economic activity in 2022, according to the newly released Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6). AEP6 is an economic and social impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts and commissioned for the state of Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Arts Board. That economic activity - $437.1 million in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and $496.2 million in event-related spending by their audiences - supported 15,851 jobs and generated $190.1 million in local, state, and federal government revenue. Spending by arts and culture audiences generates valuable commerce to local merchants, a value-add that few other industries can claim. ​​

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 as well as nationally, arts and culture are a critical economic driver of vibrant communities.​

“The Wisconsin Arts Board is proud to have partnered with Americans for the Arts for the 6th time on this study to measure the profound economic impact of Wisconsin's nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences," said George Tzougros, Executive Director of the Wisconsin. “We are also proud that our lead participation in the study helped to underwrite six additional studies in Wisconsin: the City of Eau Claire, City of Milwaukee, Dane County, Door County, Greater Green Bay Area, and the St. Croix Valley each worked with AFTA on a more focused study of their own community.

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.

“The economic and social impacts of the arts and culture are felt daily in Wisconsin communities," said Brian Kelsey, Board Chairperson of the Wisconsin Arts Board. “In addition to contributing to Wisconsin's creative economy, the arts and culture are important parts of creating the future we want for our communities and our state." 

Key figures from Wisconsin's AEP6 study include:

Wisconsin's nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $496.2 million in event-related spending by its audiences.

  • The typical attendee spends $50.59 per person per event, not including the cost of admission.

  • 12.1% of arts and culture attendees were from outside the county in which the activity took place. They spent an average of $112.38. All vital income for local merchants.

  • 81.8% of respondents agreed that the activity or venue they were attending was “a source of neighborhood pride for the community."

  • 87.3% said they would “feel a sense of loss if that activity or venue was no longer available."

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

For more information, follow AFTA:  @Americans4Arts​

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The Wisconsin Arts Board is the state agency which nurtures creativity, cultivates expression, promotes the arts, supports the arts in education, stimulates community and economic development and serves as a resource for people of every culture and heritage. Since 1973, the Arts Board has supported artists and art organizations with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information on the Wisconsin Arts Board, please visit and to join the celebration of our 50th Anniversary, visit

The Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 study was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. It was supported by The Ruth Lilly Endowment Fund of Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts' 297 study partners contributed both time and financial support to the study. For a full list of the communities who participated in the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 study, visit