The nonprofit arts and humanities sector is a vital, growing, and impactful segment of Cecil County’s diverse economy. The results from Cecil County’s participation in the national Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 study documents the key role played by the nonprofit arts and culture industry and their audiences in strengthening the County’s economy.
Local Economic Impact of the Creative Industries
In Cecil County, the arts sector generated $34.7 million in economic activity during 2022—$16.0 million in spending by arts and culture organizations and an additional $18.7 million in event-related expenditures by their audiences. That economic activity supported 564 jobs, provided $17.6 million in personal income to residents, and generated $5.2 million in tax revenue to local, state, and federal governments.
Spending by arts and culture organizations drives the economy
Arts and culture drives commerce to local businesses. When people attend a cultural event, they often make an outing of it—dining at a restaurant, paying for parking or public transportation, enjoying dessert after the show, and returning home to pay for child or pet care. Overall, in Cecil County, attendees spend $28.42 per person per event, beyond the cost of admission. These dollars represent vital income for local merchants and a value-add with which few industries can compete. Arts and culture organizations also strengthen the visitor economy: In Cecil County, 22.1% of attendees are nonlocal visitors who traveled from outside Cecil County; they spend an average of $36.10. Additionally, 82.9% of nonlocal attendees reported that the primary purpose of their visit was specifically to attend the performance, event, exhibit, venue, or facility where they were surveyed.
Arts and culture are a fundamental component of livable communities—beautifying cities and towns, bringing joy to residents, and celebrating diverse cultural expressions and traditions. It powers the creative communities where people want to live and work, entrepreneurs and innovation thrive, and businesses and nighttime economies flourish. Shared cultural experiences strengthen a sense of belonging and community pride.
Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 delivers a clear and welcome message: when communities invest in arts and culture, they are not investing in community development at the expense of economic development. Rather, they are investing in an industry that stimulates the economy, supports local jobs, and contributes to building healthy, vibrant, and more livable communities. When we support the arts and humanities, we invest in both Cecil County’s economic and community well-being.
When using estimates derived by the calculator, always keep the following important caveats in mind:
- The results of this analysis are based on the averages of similarly populated U.S. communities.
- Economists customized an input-output economic model for each of the similarly populated communities, providing specific data on employment, household income, and government revenue. This highly regarded type of economic analysis has been the basis for two Nobel Prizes in economics. The models are systems of mathematical equations that combine statistical methods and economic theory in an area of study called econometrics. The analysis traces how many times a dollar is re-spent within the local economy before it leaves the community, and it quantifies the economic impact of each of those rounds of spending.
- Specific economic characteristics such as business and employment patterns and rates of taxation can vary greatly from community to community.
- The results derived by the calculator should be considered estimates only. This method of estimating economic impact is not a substitute for conducting a customized economic impact study using an input-output model that has been designed specifically for your community’s unique economy. The standard deviation and the 95 percent confidence interval may provide a sense of how well the averages represent the sets of numbers from which they were derived.