Arts had $131 million impact in Northwest Arkansas

Benton and Washington counties have benefitted from the spending.

Northwest Arkansas’ nonprofit arts and cultural events generated an estimated $131.2 million in economic activity in 2015, according to a new report from Americans for the Arts of Washington, D.C.

The report, part of the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 project, attributes $67.5 million in direct spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations in Benton and Washington counties and the remaining $63.7 million to event-related expenses made by their audiences, an estimated 1.8 million people that year, according to Americans for the Arts.

Twenty-three organizations from the two-county area provided information on their 2015 expenditures, and 822 attendees answered questions about how much they spent to attend the event, including everything from transportation, to lodging, to a meal before or afterward and the purchase of souvenirs. Admission costs were not counted.

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