“Understanding and acknowledging the incredible economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture, we must always remember their fundamental value. They foster beauty, creativity, originality, and vitality. The arts inspire us, sooth us, provoke us, involve us,and connect us. But they also create jobs andcontribute to the economy.”
– Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO Americans for the Arts
A robust creative economy is key to cultural tourism and leads to success in other economic sectors. As part of the economy, creative industries include arts, culinary, design, agriculture, advertising, entertainment, architecture, books, media, software, crafts and more. All are a vital force in individual and community development. They empower people to take ownership of their development and stimulate the innovation that drives inclusive, sustainable growth. When well-supported, the creative economy is a source of structural economic transformation, socioeconomic progress, and job creation and innovation. Building and supporting a Southwest Florida creative economy stimulates a vibrant community for residents and attracts diverse cultural tourists.
According to the American for the Arts’ study entitled “Arts & Economic Prosperity 5,” the not-for-profit arts industry generates approximately $166.3B of annual economic activity in this country — $63.8B in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $102.5Bin event-related expenditures by their audiences. This activity supports 4.6M jobs and generates $27.5B in revenues to local, state, and federal governments – a yield well beyond their collective $5B in arts allocations. (The aforementioned study excludes spending by individual artists, Broadway, or the motion picture industry.)
In Southwest Florida, the numbers speak for themselves. Nonprofit arts groups in Lee County generated an impressive $354M, supported 3,875 full-time equivalent jobs with $89M in income to its residents and $19M in revenue to local and state government, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity (AEP) study. Collier County generated its own impressive set of numbers, generating $328M, supporting over 2,000 full-time equivalent jobs with $57M in income to its residents and $11M in revenues to local and state government, also according to AEP. An interesting perspective lies also in the source of these revenues. For instance, arts events attendees that live within the county in which the arts event takes place are considered local; those who live outside of the county are categorized as nonlocal. While the ratio of local to nonlocal attendees is different in every community, a national sample reveals that 34.1% of attendees travel from outside of the county in which the event takes place (nonlocal), and 65.9% of attendees reside within the county (local). However, nonlocal attendees have twice as much event-related spending as their local counterparts ($47.57 vs. $23.44/per person).
In short, when a community attracts nonlocal arts attendees and cultural tourists, it harnesses significant economic rewards.
It means that Southwest Florida elected officials should have an interest in cultural organizations given that these entities generate way more money to government coffers than they receive through government grants.
It’s important to note that nonprofit arts and cultural organizations provide rewarding employment for more than just artists, curators, and musicians. They also directly support builders, plumbers, accountants, printers, and an array of occupations spanning many industries. The arts and culture industry is highly labor intensive, with half (52.8%) of the typical organization’s expenditures spent on artists and personnel costs.
A comprehensive market study utilizing data from ESRI and Experian Mosaic USA of the local and regional Southwest Florida market showed strong consumer demand for arts and culture, as well as for opportunities to cross-promote cultural activities with other types of events, including recreation, wellness, and enjoyment of nature. This economic impact study sends a strong signal that when we support the arts, we not only enhance our quality of life, but we also invest in Southwest Florida’s economic well-being across the board.
Additionally, Southwest Florida’s population has increased 21.5% since 2010. With that growth in population, we saw a growth in local wealth, as well. Lee County boasts a median income of 3% above that of the State of Florida. In a parallel path, Collier median income went from $69k to $76k, an8.81% increase. This influx of residents into the area provides a host of opportunities for support from individuals and corporations that are accustomed to philanthropic giving.
Southwest Florida continues to be one of our nation’s most compelling growth stories. Lee County, in particular, has the highest cumulative net migration in the state for the past ten years. Furthermore, this area has several significant and well-established corporations who contribute to economic growth and stability in the region. Hertz, Chico’s FAS, Lee Health, Fox Electronics, NeoGenomics, Arthrex, and many others recognize Southwest Florida as a thriving community with much economic growth on the horizon for their businesses, and an accompanying quality of life for their workforce.
Foreign nationals continue to travel to, and invest in, Southwest Florida. Earlier this year, Lufthansa Group, through its Eurowings Discover Airlines, began operating flights three times a week from Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) and Frankfurt (FRA), Germany. All are substantive economic indicators for the area. The growth of a corporate presence in Southwest Florida makes this community well-positioned to secure healthy arts institutions that will serve their workforce and the rest of our residents very well Urban sociologists, including Richard Florida at Carnegie Mellon University, have examined what role fledgling arts communities, termed “bohemia,” have on diversity and economic growth. The findings suggest that places that have a high concentration of “bohemia” reflect an underlying set of conditions that are attractive to talented and creative people, including those who work in high-technology industries, entrepreneurs, and corporate leadership. This helps create an environment that is conducive to the birth, growth and development of new industries. Simply put, a “bohemian” presence helps establish an environment that attracts other talented or high human capital individuals, a needed ingredient for local economic development. This Economic impact study is one of several that send a strong signal that when we support the arts, we not only enhance our quality of life, but we also invest in our community’s economic well-being.
“The success of my family’s business depends on finding and cultivating a creative and innovative workforce. I have witnessed firsthand the power of the arts in building these business skills. When we participate personally in the arts, we strengthen our creativity muscles,’ which makes us not just a better ceramicist or chorus member, but amore creative worker—better able to identify challenges and innovative business solutions.” — Christopher Forbes, Vice Chairman, Forbes, Inc
“Southwest Florida will now have an international caliber ballet company lead by world famous talent. This troupe has chosen to invest in our community by making Southwest Florida their home. It’s a notable opportunity for all that are invested in our local economic health and general quality of life.”- Katrina Salokar, Southwest Florida Business Alliance
By all accounts, Southwest Florida is growing at a substantial rate. Vast numbers of individuals from around the country have chosen Fort Myers, Naples, and the surrounding areas to live a great life and pursue a rewarding career.
Traditionally, most have been attracted by our wel-coming environment, beautiful weather with outdoor activities, or simply our relaxed vibe. However as our communities grow, many of our leaders and residents recognize that a vibrant cultural scene is also critical in achieving the full economic benefits that come with this growth.
Florida Gulfshore Ballet’s donors and corporate sponsors are key in bringing Southwest Florida’s first and only professional ballet company to life. It’s a once in a life-time opportunity to create local history by contributing to Southwest Florida’s cultural lifeblood. Doing so will help transform our community’s cultural and enter-tainment landscape, allowing an array of individuals and families to experience world-class artistry, while attracting talent and innovation to our local businesses across the board.
The growth and vitality of the Southwest Florida region is largely dependent on our ability to provide our residents with a diverse and fulfilling landscape of social ingredients that contribute to our general quality of life. We encourage you to support Florida Gulfshore Ballet during this historic moment for Southwest Florida. In return, we promise to meet the following:
We thrive on creating unique, mutually beneficial, and custom-tailored partnerships that deliver significant and measurable benefits for our partners through brand awareness, audience engagement, media exposure, employee benefits, and unforgettable networking and client entertainment packages.
Achieving increased visibility, awareness or brand perception through sponsor recognition and alignment with what will be one of the most significant cultural brands in SW Florida.
Targeting multicultural, and discerning audiences, including opinion-formers and influencers, corporate leaders, and high net worth individuals.
Recognition and branding opportunities to include press and advertising campaigns with national and regional activity and innovative promotional approaches.
Engaging with the community through outstanding cultural and educational programming to convey ethical corporate values and a corporate social responsibility agenda.
Offering your guests, clients, and employees unforgettable experiences with a highly personalized VIP concierge service for all ticketing needs including complimentary and discounted tickets and VIP valet parking privileges.
Unique client networking, entertainment opportunities and event management services. Invite your clients to exclusive functions with our artistic staff, dancers, and loyal patrons. Access our private patron lounges for refreshments, take your clients on private backstage tours, come watch company rehearsals and get a peek at how the magic happens.