Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP 6)

AEP6 logoHistory

ArtPride New Jersey was a statewide partner in Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, a national study of arts participation conducted by Americans for the Arts. The study, published in 2017, revealed that the nonprofit arts is a significant industry in the State of New Jersey — one that generated $519.8 million in total economic activity.

This activity is evident in these ways:

  • Nonprofit arts and culture organizations are businesses. They employ people locally, purchase goods and services from within the community, are members of their Chambers of Commerce, and attract tourists to their regions.
  • The arts drive commerce to local businesses. The arts, unlike most industries, leverage significant amounts of event-related spending by their audiences. In 2017, arts attendees spent $31.47 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and lodging — vital income for local businesses.
  • Arts travelers are ideal tourists. They stay longer and spend more to seek out authentic cultural experiences. One-third of attendees travel from outside the county in which the activity takes place and spend an average of $48 per person. (69% say they traveled specifically to attend the activity.)
  • Small investments. Big returns. In 2017, the combined $5 billion in direct arts funding by local, state, and federal governments yielded $27.5 billion in government revenue.

Since 2017, ArtPride utilized American for the Arts economic activity calculator (part of AEP5) and information from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts to annually update data, now broken down by county on Keep Jersey Arts Alive. Based on these annual updates, we now know that nonprofit arts drive $662 million to our state’s economy. We believe this compelling data and ArtPride’s work alongside arts advocates all over New Jersey, helped increase state arts funding in 2019 to an historic $31.9 million. This appropriation reflects a greater understanding by our elected officials that the arts in New Jersey mean business!

AEP6: Change the conversationHow YOU can participate!

PLEASE take the AEP6 audience survey when you attend a cultural event in New Jersey. Local partners will ask you to complete a quick survey on paper, via a tablet, or they will offer you a QR code that allows you to take this survey on your mobile device. It is important for you to take that survey WHILE YOU ARE AT THE ARTS OR CULTURAL VENUE, before, during, or immediately after your attendance. The survey asks a few questions regarding demographics and if you spent money related to your attendance at the event or venue on food, drinks, retail, lodging, clothing, parking, child care, etc.

Your participation is critical to assure this study is robust reflects broad and diverse participation, and reaches people attending free events as well as paid attendance.

Local NJ Partners

13 local partners throughout New Jersey will join in the study to provide data that is specific to their geographic location.

Those partners are:


Cynthia Forster


Matt Pisarski


Karen Nicholson


Kate Hartwyk


Gina Hulings


Carrie Fellows

Jersey City

Christine Goodman


Isha Vyas


Teresa Staub


Tom Werder


Tim Hart


Kaitlin Bundy


Kathleen Kakaletris


Social media toolkit

Action Alerts

ACT NOW – Contact NJ legislators re continued pandemic relief for arts & culture

S2800/A4233 was recently introduced to support New Jersey’s creative industries with $70 million of federal American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds still available to the State of New Jersey.

Cultural organizations were among the very first to close and the last to reopen when pandemic restrictions eased. Most continue to struggle financially with decreased revenue as audiences have not yet returned to pre-pandemic capacity levels. Earlier federal funding has long since expired.

Funds will provide grants to nonprofit and for-profit arts and cultural organizations through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to recoup lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and help...
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Support the Creative Economy Bills
The U.S. Congress is currently considering seven bills that will support the creative industries in recovery. Many offer ways for federal agencies to expand services and opportunities to benefit individual artists and cultural organizations.

Together, these bills map a new, more equitable and impactful policy landscape for creative businesses and workers and, if passed, would improve the lives of all Americans by expanding opportunity for creative workers and boosting the U.S. economy.

Please ask your member of Congress to cosponsor any or all of these bills.
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