The arts mean BUSINESS in Hillsborough County! A new economic impact study released today by the Americans for the Arts shows that Hillsborough County’s nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and their audiences generate $433 MILLION in annual economic activity.

Arts Industry a Boon for Local Businesses

In addition to spending by organizations, our local nonprofit arts and culture industry leverages $258 MILLION in event-related spending by audiences. As a result of attending a cultural event, attendees often eat dinner in local restaurants, pay for parking, buy gifts and souvenirs, and pay a babysitter. What’s more, attendees from out of town often stay overnight in a local hotel.

Analyzed down to individual spending, people who attend arts events here are important drivers of our local economy.

On average residents spend $38 per person and nonresidents spend $68 per person while enjoying our vibrant arts and culture events.

In Hillsborough County, the new Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 study also shows our NONPROFIT arts and culture industry supports 15,000 fulltime equivalent jobs and generates $52 MILLION in revenue to state and local government.

“As longtime patrons of the arts, we place immense value in art’s ability to convene, intrigue and delight. Art is a universal good, transcendent of countless divisions. As we work toward a more vibrant Tampa Bay, the arts must be a central priority.” – Jeff and Penny Vinik

AEP5 is the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States. It was conducted by Americans for the Arts in partnership with Hillsborough County and other local, regional, and statewide agencies across the country who contributed both time and financial support to the study.

When compared to other study regions of similar size across the country, Hillsborough County was noted as consistently higher than those communities. 

“Tampa Bay is a vibrant, creative community. This study shows that our cultural institutions and creators are helping our economy grow and thrive – their economic impact and jobs tied to them are higher compared to other regions and the national average. I see every year during my Congressional Art Competition aimed at fostering the budding talents of our high school artists, how much further we can go by championing this industry. Tampa Bay will continue to attract National Endowment for the Art and Humanities grants to rev the economic engine found in arts and culture.” – U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, 14th District

The Arts Council worked throughout 2016 with 76 eligible nonprofit cultural organizations to collect various types of financial data and with them gathered 2,114 surveys from event attendees.


The Americans for the Arts analyzed the information this year to produce the AEP5 study. We are grateful to the Hillsborough County Economic Development Department and to the Gobioff Foundation for their support which enabled us to obtain results for the overall county and to specifically separate out the City of Tampa data.  The last such study conducted locally was in 2008.

Nationwide, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 reveals that the nonprofit arts industry produces $166.3 billion in economic activity every year, resulting in $27.5 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues. In addition, it supports 4.6 million fulltime equivalent jobs and generates $96.1 billion in household income.

The Arts Council is Hillsborough County’s state-designated local arts agency that advocates for and provides a unified voice for cultural organizations and activities in Tampa and Hillsborough County. We support and promote the good news about the cultural vitality of our community, making it more appealing to new residents, tourists and employers looking for a new home. 

MORE INFO: #AEP5 report at Americans for the Arts