‘A billion dollar story’: The economic impact of the arts in Missouri | St. Louis Public Radio

‘A billion dollar story’: The economic impact of the arts in Missouri

Oct 6, 2017

In Missouri’s big cities and in its rural area, the arts have a big impact – not only for their inherent value – but economically as well.

“It’s a billion dollar story [in Missouri],” said Michael Donovan, Executive Director of the Missouri Arts Council, an organization that has funded the arts in communities across the state for more than 50 years.

Donovan along with Robert Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, and Sherry Sissac, Deputy Director of the Regional Arts Commission, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Friday.

In the St. Louis region, the arts and culture sector is a $600 million industry annually and supports more than 19,000 full-time equivalent jobs. That’s according to a new national study conducted by Americans for the Arts

“The numbers continue to grow,” said Sissac, also noting that arts audiences in the region amount to at least 11 million annually while sports collectively draws about 4 million people per year.

The local and state trends match what is happening nationally.

“From the national perspective we are seeing explosive growth for the nonprofit arts sector in America and related economic impact in job creation,” said Lynch.

He added that the impact of the arts is an impact that’s kept local and not outsourced overseas, a factor that gives the arts community more political clout than some people might expect.

Listen to the audio to hear more about the economic impact of the arts.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.