Arts Matter: LIAA Releases Numbers Detailing $330M Impact on LI

LIAA Board Member Marc Wong, David Okorn and Melissa Greenberger of LICF, and Lauren Wagner of LIAA show off key stats from a recent comprehensive study of the economic impace of Arts and Cultural organizations on LI

LIAA Board Member Marc Wong, David Okorn and Melissa Greenberger of LICF, and Lauren Wagner of LIAA show off key stats from a recent comprehensive study of the economic impact of Arts and Cultural organizations on LI. All photos in this article provided by Long Island Arts Alliance

Share this with anyone involved in securing investment in the arts. We know the value is clearly deeper than economics. Still, that impact is profound and now we have numbers to clearly illustrate it!

In partnership with Americans for the Arts and with funding from the Long Island Community Foundation, the Long Island Arts Alliance recently coordinated a detailed study of Nassau and Suffolk Counties as part of Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6). They found that LI’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $330 million in economic activity in 2022, directly supporting thousands jobs and having tremendous collateral benefit.

What is AEP6?

For the last three decades, Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) has been the largest and most inclusive economic and social impact study of the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry. It provides detailed findings on 373 regions from across all 50 states and Puerto Rico. These range in population from 4,000 to 4 million representing rural, suburban, and large urban communities.

Lauren Wager of LIAA speaks before a full room at the Huntington Arts Council.
Lauren Wager of LIAA speaks before a full room at the Huntington Arts Council.

What did they find on LI?

Results discussed here relate directly to Nassau & Suffolk Counties. You can get a quick review of numbers and methodology here in the Long Island Overview. A more comprehensive review is here. For a broader view, check out the Americans for the Arts National Results.

Based on data collected from almost 1,000 attendees at various arts and culture events, over 400 cultural nonprofit organizations, and other stakeholders across Nassau and Suffolk counties, it was determined that the arts have a significant impact on our economy, including COVID recovery.

These cultural organizations contributed $178 million in direct expenditures, such as production costs, professional fees, salaries, etc.
 An additional $151 million was spent by their audiences at local restaurants, hotels and retail shops. A large portion of these moneys are paid to small businesses and organizations, meaning the money circulates longer in the local economy as additional rounds of indirect spending.
This included, on average, $33.96 spent by local audiences, and $63.83 by non-local attendees. This means that not only do local audiences keep money in the local economy, visitors bring more.
You can use this calculator to determine how much your institution generates.
This supported 4,905 full-time equivalent jobs, including organizational staff, independent artists, designers and musicians; marketers, accountants and consultants, as well as construction workers and contractors; and chefs, bartenders and hotel managers.
It equated to $234.6 million in household income, $6.6 million in state taxes and $8.4 million to local municipalities. These much-needed tax dollars help pay for crucial public services such as schools, public safety and health services.

Impacts Deeper and Harder to Measure

The folks at the press conference sharing all this information were pleased to see their experiences validated, and hopeful that these numbers could help boost investment in the arts. Still, they were also clear that these findings are among the least of the value arts bring to our communities. The study also found that among those surveyed.

87.2% agreed that “This venue or facility is an important pillar for me within my community.” 90.6% agreed the “I would feel a great sense of loss if this activity or venue were no longer available. 91.8% said “This activity or venue is inspiring a sense of pride in this neighborhood or community,” and 89.6% said “My attendance is my way of ensuring that this activity or venue is preserved for future generations”

A number of individuals spoke at the conference, representing leadership in local government, arts, culture, and community development. Almost all who spoke, while appreciating the numbers generated, communicated even more passionately about values that are harder to measure. These included how the arts improve basic quality of life and how they help us better understand both ourselves and our culture. They spoke of how art serves as an ambassador, fostering empathy and understanding across histories and perspectives. They emphasized the power art has to forge human connection, and to serve as a centerpiece of community, noting how critical such events were in reestablishing human togetherness post COVID. Art heals us. Art strengthens us. Art nurtures us as we grow.

There is much to discuss. They hope you get involved!

Arts bring people together, and this study is something to talk about. Join the conversation.
Arts bring people together, and this study is something to talk about. Join the conversation!

Community Conversations:


The LIAA invites you to join them, Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research at Americans for the Arts, and other special guests for a series of  Community Conversations.
East End

12/18 – 3:00 pm
Southampton Arts Center

Nassau County
12/19 – 9:00 am
Tilles Center for the Performing Arts

Western Suffolk
12/19 – 4:00 pm
Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts

The events are free and promise to be most enriching. Please learn more and register here.

For More Coverage Check Out

MyLITV captures key moments and voices from the event in this piece: “Long Island Arts Alliance Announces the Economic Impact of The Arts on Long Island”

Pam Robinson in Huntington NOW offers great coverage, including news NYS Regent Roger Tilles shared regarding his work in education, and recent accomplishments to do more of what he sees as critical: infusing the humanities in education: Nonprofits Put Economic Power of Arts at $330 Million

Adina Genn, in the Long Island Business News, gets a little more into the Long Island Association’s business perspective: LI art and culture nonprofits generated $330M in economic activity in 2022: report

The study also merited prime radio time with Eda Uzunlar for WSHU: Arts and culture brings $300 million to Long Island’s economy annually

Did you know the LIAA has won an Emmy Award? Click the photo to learn more!

Subscribe To The Newsletter