I recently learned of a study done by Americans for the Arts that measures the economic impact on local economies of non-profit arts organizations.
Attendance at arts events generates related commerce for local businesses such as restaurants, parking garages, hotels, and retail stores. Data collected from 94,478 attendees at a range of events reveal an average spending of $27.79 per person, per event—in additionto the cost of admission. This spending generated an estimated $103.1 billion of valuable revenue for local merchants and their communities in 2005.
Click here to read the study.