Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Arts Reporting: Long Center Economic Impact Study, September 2009

The Long Center has just issued a press release and made available in .pdf form the summary results of a study it commissioned to describe the economic impact of the Center.

From the PR spin:

A study released by the city on Wednesday morning shows that the year-old Long Center for the Performing Arts and its three resident companies generate a collective $43 million in annual economic activity for Austin.

The study conducted by New Economic Strategies and Avalanche Consulting shows that the center and its performing arts groups--the Austin Lyric Opera, Ballet Austin and the Austin Symphony--account for roughly 950 full- and part-time jobs. Additionally, events at the Long Center draw some 200,000 attendees annually.

According to the study, about $20 million of the total economic impact figure happens on site at the center, with an additional $5 million occurring off-site through attendee spending on such things as meals and hotel rooms. The researchers believe an additional $18 million in activity comes from the indirect ripple effects of the primary spending.

Open since March 2008, the Long Center has drawn numerous performers to its stage in addition to the local performance companies.

But the center's economic impact didn't begin with its opening. According to the study, the facility's construction generated $105 million for the local economy during the four-year building period, supporting 950 jobs and $40 million in labor revenue.

Passages from the .pdf document that may be of interest to Austin artists and theatre companies:

In addition to their paid employees, the Long Center and its Founding Resident Companies allow hundreds of artists and performers to earn income for their craft.

Arguably, a small number of these artists would choose to live in Austin without the opportunities to perform, and these artists support hundreds of jobs in a variety of creative industries in Austin (their “day jobs”).

In addition, thousands of volunteers and contributors support the Long Center and its partners with their time and donations.


Donor group Catalyst 8 created the Boost Rental Subsidy Program in late 2007.

Since its inception, $36,000 in Boost subsidies have been granted to more than 20 Austin area arts groups. 75 days of performances have been subsidized.

Catalyst 8’s goal is to partially or fully subsidize 100 days of performances in 2010.

ALT note: It appears that the assumptions and data supporting these conclusions have not been made public.

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