Colorado Business Committee for the Arts’ latest edition of this biennial report showcases how the arts, cultural and scientific nonprofit sector continues to recover from the pandemic
DENVER (Nov. 2, 2023) – Today, the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) released its latest Economic Activity Study of Metro Denver Culture, presented by U.S. Bank, at a Community Roll-Out event at Denver Art Museum. Civic and business leaders gathered for a presentation of data from this year’s report, a panel discussion of its results and special performance from Opera Colorado, surrounded by Día de los Muertos décor provided by Mexican Cultural Center of Denver. Today’s event shared with the community how arts and culture are impacting the local economy and contributing to employment, education, tourism and cultural engagement. CBCA has been publishing this report every other year since 1993.
“This year’s study showed us that the nonprofit arts, scientific and cultural sector in Metro Denver has displayed an incredible economic rebound following the significant setbacks caused by the pandemic,” said Christin Crampton Day, executive director of CBCA. “This recovery is not just about the numbers, but about the revival of cultural experiences, community engagement and the resiliency of a vibrant, creative ecosystem in Metro Denver.”
The study, whose data was analyzed by BBC Research, examines how nearly 300 organizations funded by the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) across the seven-county Metro Denver area have rebounded from the pandemic by looking at self-reported data from the 2022 calendar year. Key metrics include overall economic activity, cultural tourism, jobs, attendance, philanthropy and educational outreach.
In 2022, the total economic activity, which comprises direct and indirect spending from operations, audiences and capital projects, reached a staggering $2.6 billion. This figure represents a remarkable 72% increase over 2020, showcasing the sector’s resilience and adaptability. This figure is also a 13.6% increase over pre-pandemic levels of 2019, which showcase not only recovery, but additional growth. A major contributing factor for this increase was an economic impact of $81 million from federal funding awarded to Metro Denver arts, cultural and scientific nonprofit organizations for unprecedented pandemic-specific relief and recovery efforts. Jobs in the nonprofit cultural sector also fully rebounded from the losses seen during pandemic, resulting a record-breaking 13,551 in employment in 2022.
“Our nonprofit arts, culture and scientific organizations contribute greatly to the economic vitality of metro Denver and its workforce,” added Marcia Romero, vice president, community development and relations, U.S. Bank. “By measuring the impact of these institutions for 30 years, CBCA allows us to identify how the private sector can continue to support and the general public can benefit from these cherished community organizations.”
Overall, economic activity generated by the cultural sector in the seven-county metro area reached a new record-level high in 2022, indicating a rapid recovery from the pandemic, fueled in part by one-time federal funding. The ripple effect from direct and indirect spending on operations, audience engagement and capital projects has a significant effect on the regional economy.
Read the full study at cbca.org/economic-activity-study. In addition to the comprehensive whitepaper from BBC Research, there is a downloadable summary in English and Spanish.
Event and report sponsors include: U.S. Bank; Pinnacol Assurance; East West Partners; VISIT DENVER; Amazon; Colorado Education & Cultural Facilities Authority (CECFA); Denver Botanic Gardens; Denver Center for the Performing Arts; Denver Museum of Nature & Science; SCFD; Denver Art Museum and The Publishing House.
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Founded in 1985, Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) is a 501c3 nonprofit that connects business and the arts to advance Colorado’s creative economy through advocacy, research, arts engagement, training and volunteerism. Learn more at cbca.org.
About the Study
CBCA’s Economic Activity Study of Metro Denver Culture has been quantifying the financial and social impact of arts, cultural and scientific organizations for 30 years. This study, presented by U.S. Bank, illustrates the recovery process from the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes in economic activity related to the Metro Denver cultural sector since 1993, when the first report was published. CBCA staff are able to present this data in-person or via webinar to chambers of commerce, economic development councils, city councils, boards of directors, businesses, or other civic groups across the region.
CBCA welcomes the opportunity to speak to your organization about this Study and share this information. Please submit this request form or contact CBCA at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more or schedule a presentation.