Skip to Content

Central Oregon to participate in ‘Arts and Economic Prosperity 6’ study, the biggest yet 

Americans for the Arts

Data collected from June to next April for most comprehensive study of economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture industry

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A total of 21 Oregon communities and regions, including Central Oregon, will participate in Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry conducted in the United States.

Administered by Americans for the Arts, AEP6 will examine the economic impact of the arts and culture in 387 communities representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Central Oregon, led by Scalehouse Collaborative for the Arts and funded by Visit Central Oregon, with support from Travel Oregon, Oregon Arts Commission, and The High Desert Museum, will survey Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties.

The Arts & Economic Prosperity® series, conducted approximately every five years, gauges the impact of spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and the event- or visit-related expenditures by audiences and visitors.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Oregon Arts Commission on this important study. Independent research from 2017 found that an estimated 10 million overnight leisure travelers to and within Oregon visited historic places or participated in one or more art and culture-related activity during their trip,” said Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon. “This means that Oregon’s cultures and heritage were part of nearly 30 percent of the yearly overnight marketable trips to Oregon. Updated research will continue to inform Travel Oregon’s programs that support arts and culture initiatives, ultimately enhancing the Oregon experience for visitors and locals alike.”

In 2017, AEP5 documented that Central Oregon nonprofit arts and culture is a $34.7 million industry, supporting 968 full-time equivalent jobs and $2.4 million in local and state government revenue. In addition, attendance at arts and culture events was 435,840, and average spending was $56.71 per event, excluding the cost of admission. Event spending, which totaled $24,706,823, includes meals, parking, souvenirs, babysitting, and hotel stays. Our local nonprofit arts and culture organizations have been and will continue to be critical to our economic recovery.

The AEP5 data revealed that arts and culture jobs across Oregon generated $469.5 million in household income for local residents and delivered $53 million in local and state government revenue. In addition, attendance at arts and culture events was 9,911,552, and average spending was $42.59 per event, excluding admission. Event spending, which totaled $322,956,808, includes meals, parking, souvenirs, babysitting, and hotel stays.

The results from AEP6 promise to be even more impressive due to increased participation across the state, said Arts Commission Executive Director Brian Rogers. “In 2017, the data represented activity in 11 communities,” said Rogers. “Thanks to Travel Oregon’s generous partnership, we have almost twice as many cities and regions participating in AEP6, so the results will be more comprehensive of the statewide impact of arts and culture events.” See a list of Oregon study participants.

Nationally, the 2017 study revealed that the nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion in economic activity (spending by organizations plus the event-related spending by their audiences), which supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in government revenue. The AEP series demonstrates that an investment in the arts provides both cultural and economic benefits.

Anonymous audience-intercept surveys will be collected from attendees at arts and culture events, programs, venues, facilities, museums, and historical/heritage organizations or sites in Central Oregon. Surveys include event and visit-related spending by audiences (at local retail, parking, hotels, and restaurant establishments), distance traveled, cultural impact, and audience demographics. Americans for the Arts expects to surpass 250,000 surveys at the national level.

An additional study of nonprofit arts and culture organizations will occur from January through April 2023. Including the number of jobs supported and the amount of government revenue generated by our community’s nonprofit arts industry, the national and local findings will be made public in September 2023.

Americans for the Arts is committed to addressing equity and inclusion as a critical component of the methodology, organizational participation, and data collection for AEP6. By centering and representing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American) identifying communities—a segment of the nonprofit arts and culture sector that has been underrepresented in past studies.

For the first time, AEP6 will require that the local and state research partners collect a portion of audience surveys from attendees at events hosted by arts and culture organizations that primarily serve communities of color. It will also identify organizations led by persons identifying as BIPOC/ALAANA. Researchers will use this data to establish a benchmark, calculate, and report on the economic impact of the BIPOC/ALAANA arts sector in each of the participating communities.

“The Arts & Economic Prosperity study is evidence that the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in Oregon,” said Rogers. “It sends a strong signal that when we support the arts, we not only enhance our quality of life, but we also invest in our state’s economic well-being.”

Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts stated, “The arts are economic catalysts—strengthening the economy by creating jobs, generating government revenue, and driving tourism. Community is where the arts make a difference, and while the national impact data are impressive, at its core, AEP6 is a local story. I look forward to seeing its results, which will be key in persuading decision-makers that the arts benefit all people in all communities.”

For more information and a complete list of the communities participating in the AEP6 study, visit For Central Oregon, specific questions, including local organization participation and information sessions, and volunteer opportunities, contact Central Oregon AEP6 Coordinator Lauren Seiffert (

* * * * * * * * * *


Scalehouse is a multidisciplinary contemporary arts center convening diverse thinkers for in-depth discussions, artistic collaborations, exhibitions, and events, including Bend Design Week and Scalehouse Gallery. Scalehouse believes our shared future presents complex challenges and opportunities, not just benefiting from creativity but requiring it. We are committed to accessible, provocative, extraordinary, and inclusive programming — always with an eye toward a better future. Learn more at


Scalehouse Gallery is located in Franklin Crossing on the Tin Pan Alley Side.

550 NW Franklin Avenue, Suite 138


Phone: 541.640.2186

Article Topic Follows: Community Billboard

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ news sources


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content