Published November 22 2023
Per national study, event attendees spend big beyond admission
Bellevue’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $54.3 million in economic activity in 2022, according to a national study. The typical arts event attendee spent $49.07 per person here, excluding the cost of admission, more than $10 above the national average.
“Not only do the arts lift us up and make Bellevue a place you want to be, they are also a great economic investment,” observed Lorie Hoffman, Bellevue’s arts manager.
According to Arts & Economic Prosperity 6, an economic and social impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts, over 850,000 people attended nonprofit arts and culture events in Bellevue in 2022, with roughly 20% of that audience comprised of tourists and visitors.
Bellevue’s many nonprofit arts organizations include KidsQuest Children's Museum, Theatre33, the Bellevue Arts Museum, Tasveer Film Festival, Wintergrass music festival and the International Ballet Theatre.
The City of Bellevue has long supported the arts and creativity with grants to local artists and arts organizations, business support for creative economy enterprises and the purchase of art for public display. The city’s Arts Program is part of the Cultural and Economic Development division.
The arts-related economic activity in 2022 – $10.8 million in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and $43.5 million by their audiences in event-related spending at local businesses including restaurants, retail shops, and lodging – supported approximately 600 jobs and generated $10.5 million in local, state and federal taxes.
Key figures from the study prepared for Bellevue include:
- 20% of arts and culture attendees were nonlocal visitors who traveled from outside King County. They spent an average of $108.35, excluding admission costs.
- 84% of respondents agreed that the activity or venue they were attending was “a source of neighborhood pride for the community.”
- 83% said they would “feel a sense of loss if that activity or venue was no longer available.”
Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, has completed studies of arts economic impacts every five or six years since the 1990s. This was the first time Americans for the Arts looked at Bellevue, and the city supported the study with a student intern on staff gathering a year’s worth of data about attendance at Bellevue arts events.
Americans for the Arts uses a rigorous methodology to document the economic and social contributions of the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry.