The Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO) at SUNY New Paltz has released a groundbreaking regional report on “Mid-Hudson Arts & Culture: The Economic Impact.” The study, based upon data gathered from or descriptive of 517 arts & culture organizations in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester Counties, confirms that arts/culture is of fundamental importance not only to our regional quality of life but also to our regional pocketbook.
Supported by a grant from the New York Community Trust Arts & Culture Research Fund, CRREO measured the aggregate economic impact of arts and cultural organizations in the Mid-Hudson Valley.
The key findings:
- almost half a billion dollars in economic activity is generated by this sector, and
- directly or indirectly arts and culture provides employment for almost 5,000 Mid-Hudson Valley residents.
Additionally, audience spending on lodging, food, recreation, retail and transportation injected $498 million directly into the region’s economy; the value of volunteer labor added an additional $28.7 million.
CRREO Director Gerald Benjamin said of the study, “We hoped and believed that if we could demonstrate a substantial economic impact by arts and cultural institutions in the region, one that paralleled their already widely appreciated social and cultural impact, greater support for them would flow, and the region would benefit in multiple ways. As you will see, we were not disappointed in our findings.”
The report finds that the culture sector in Dutchess County has a total economic impact of $28.5 million and creates 1,015 jobs; Orange County’s sector generates $33.1 million and 485 jobs; Putnam County’s sector generates $11.5 million impact and 159 jobs; Rockland County’s sector generates $26.4 million and 320 jobs; Sullivan County’s sector generates $32.6 million and 344 jobs; Ulster County’s sector generates $23.5 million and 372 jobs; and Westchester’s sector generates $300 million and 1,103 jobs.
The study also finds that the region’s arts & culture organizations see a need for strong arts curricula in K-12 education, recognition from business and government, and collaboration between and among organizations in order to sustain and grow.
CRREO was established in 2007 to further engage the university and its people with communities, governments, not-for-profits, and businesses across our region. CRREO conducts and publicizes research on regional topics; creates and directs select institutes focusing on specific topics of regional interest; connects and partners with local governments, not-for-profits, and businesses to initiate reforms and advocate for best practices; contracts to assess the performance of public and not-for-profit agencies and programs; and works to foster intergovernmental collaboration and community engagement.