COPPeR to launch new arts impact study

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The Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region will be one of 70 El Paso County nonprofit arts organizations participating in a national study to measure the economic development of the arts.

The research study, titled Arts and Economic Prosperity IV, will be conducted throughout 2011 and presented in July 2012.

As one of the 200 study partners across the United States, COPPeR will facilitate the gathering of detailed economic and event attendance data from nonprofit arts and culture organizations throughout the Pikes Peak region. Additionally, COPPeR will collaborate with arts organizations to collect surveys at several free festivals and family-oriented events, as well as high-ticket arts exhibits and performances.

The study comes at the same time that the community is growing increasing awareness of the connection between the arts and a thriving economy, especially in relation to supporting tourism, enhancing quality of life and attracting companies and highly skilled workers to the Pikes Peak region, said Christina McGrath, COPPeR’s executive director.

“As we continue hear concerns about our local economy, it’s important to remember the national statistics that show how arts strengthen the overall economic well-being of a community,”  she said.  ”The results of the last Arts and Economic Prosperity III study found that the total economic impact of the arts in the Pikes Peak region was an estimated $94.7 million. I am eager to see our progress and leverage these results to help strengthen our community.”

Customized findings for the Pikes Peak region will include:

• Total dollars spent by Pikes Peak region nonprofit arts and culture organizations.

• Total dollars spent by audiences as a direct result of their attendance at arts and culture events in the Pikes Peak region.

• Number of full-time equivalent jobs supported by arts spending.

• Amount of resident, household income—including salaries and wages—generated by arts spending.

• Amount of local and state government tax revenues generated by arts spending.

While COPPeR is taking the lead coordinating role, the study received additional financial support from local organizations  including: Bee Vradenburg Foundation, city of Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Corp., El Pomar Foundation, Experience Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak, Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado, Inasmuch Foundation and Joseph Henry Edmondson Foundation.