Arts organizations economic returns measured; national measurement of arts and culture issued

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Representatives from Kentucky Arts Partnership (KAP) organizations will gather in Frankfort Jan. 28 for Arts Day in Kentucky to celebrate their work in creating vibrant communities through the arts and to thank the Kentucky General Assembly for its continued support of the arts.

KAP is a grant program run by the Kentucky Arts Council that gives operating support funding to 501c3 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in the Commonwealth. In fiscal year 2013, the arts council invested $1.8 million in 103 nonprofit arts organizations through KAP grants. Data collected from recipients demonstrates significant returns in tax revenue, jobs and private funding.

"KAP organizations essentially bring the arts to life in Kentucky through programming, education and community engagement year-round," said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. "From very small organizations to the largest in the state, KAP organizations demonstrate year after year how important the arts are to quality of life, and community and economic development, in the Commonwealth."

Data collected from 97 of the 103 fiscal year 2013 KAP grantees saw a return on investment through federal, state and local taxes in the amounts of:


  • $7.4 million in federal taxes.
  • $1.2 million in state taxes.
  • $544,595 in local taxes and fees.
  • "Kentucky Arts Partnership organizations are required to have at least a dollar-for-dollar match for the arts council's grants," Meadows said. "These organizations were able to use their operational support funds to leverage $52 million in earned income, corporate sponsorships, private foundation grants and individual donations."

    Calculations show every dollar granted through the KAP program is, in effect, matched by $27.70. In addition, KAP organizations collectively employed 568 full-time workers and 829 part-time workers. The organizations together provided more than 5.8 million arts experiences at events that occurred during the fiscal year.

    KAP reporting comes on the heels of a recently released report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) that provides the first ever in-depth analysis of the arts and cultural sector's contributions to current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of the final dollar value of all goods and services produced in the United States.

    According to the prototype estimates made available in December 2013, 3.2 percent – or $504 billion – of current-dollar GDP in 2011 was attributable to arts and culture. In comparison, BEA's estimated value of the U.S. travel and tourism industry – which is closely related with the arts and economic development in the Commonwealth – was 2.8 percent of the GDP.

    "The arts world anticipated the results of the BEA and NEA analysis and were delighted with the results," said Meadows. "In an age where we are asked to quantify every decision we make, we can now better do so with these results. There is concrete information from the federal government that proves what we have known for some time – arts and cultural activity has significant economic value."

    For more information about the BEA and NEA report, visit

    For more information about the public value of the arts in Kentucky, visit

    The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.


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