Download the full 2016 Economic Activity Study

Read the full 2016 Economic Activity Study online

Download the summary At a Glance sheet

Download the summary At a Glance sheet (Spanish)

EAS16 Presentation Final-2


Arts and economic activity show gains in cultural tourism and jobs

Study shows continued economic contributions by the arts, cultural and scientific organizations in metro Denver

Cultural tourism saw its greatest gains ever and jobs in arts, cultural and scientific organizations have reached pre-great recession levels according to the new CBCA Economic Activity Study of Metro Denver Culture released on October 5, 2016 with a breakfast event at the Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

The study, conducted every two years, assesses economic and social contributions made by arts, cultural and scientific organizations across the Denver metro area. The 2016 study showed the cultural community’s continued consistent impact on injecting new dollars into the region’s economy, creating jobs and providing extensive outreach to metro area schools.

“Since 1992, when we began the study, the arts have shown a significant and sustained impact on our local, state and regional economy,” said Deborah Jordy, executive director of the CBCA.

While total economic activity was flat due to less capital investment than in the previous year, arts, science and cultural organizations injected a half a billion new dollars into the regional economy. Jobs and payroll in the industry saw a boost, the report found. Cultural tourism, measured by dollars spent at cultural organizations by people from outside the metro area, contributed $367 million – the highest total recorded to date.

The continued success of the arts is due in great part to the taxpayer-supported SCFD, which since 1989 has distributed funds from a sales and use tax to cultural facilities throughout the seven-county metropolitan area. A public vote for reauthorization of SCFD will be on the November ballot.

Other key findings from the report:

  • Corporate sponsorships in the arts was up more than 10 percent since 2013.
  • Outreach to children through educational institutions ensured an average of more than 7 arts experiences annually for each metro area student.
  • Following jobs, total payroll for cultural organizations was up more than 9 percent.
  • Free attendance increased by 3 percent since 2013 indicating increased emphasis on access by cultural organizations.
  • Total volunteer hours are up 15 percent over 2013 at 2 million.

    Read coverage of the 2016 Economic Activity Study by Denver Business Journal, Colorado Public Radio, CBS4 Local News, The Denver Post, Denverite.com and NextCity.org.






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    Click on year to see previous study results: 2014, 20122010, 2008, 2006