Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) continues to play an important role in arts and culture research projects, initiating and participating in studies that demonstrate the far-reaching impact of arts and culture on our economy and quality of life.
Houston is a regular participant in Americans for the Arts’ national Arts & Economic Prosperity Study, which measures the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences. This study has revealed the arts to be a potent force in our local economy. In 2010, the latest results available, our local nonprofit arts industry generated $977.7 million in total economic activity and supported the full-time equivalent of 29,110 jobs. That’s a 39 percent increase in Harris County since 2005. HAA is currently gathering local data for Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, which will be released in 2017.
In the 2014 Community Outreach Report: Houston Arts & Culture HOT Grantee Organizations report, HAA, Houston’s Theatre District and Museum District found that arts and culture are engaging people in every part of our city. According to the report, arts and culture organizations are reaching more than 5.5 million people in the Houston area through efforts like touring productions, outreach to schools, and partnerships with community groups. Arts and culture activities are taking place in every City Council district and beyond.
HAA’s Creative Economy of Greater Houston studies have found that creative industries and individuals are the “sleeping giant” of Houston’s economy. The reports revealed that the $26 billion industry has grown by 18 percent since 2004 and employs nearly 180,000 highly skilled workers, from architects to designers to photographers. Yet Houston imports nearly 60 percent of its creative products, not taking advantage of this local talent. As a result of these findings, HAA has continued to call for greater local investment in creatives with a goal of keeping this deep pool of talent in Houston.
These studies all suggest that Houstonians participate in arts and culture, support arts and culture, and believe in the potential for growth in the region through arts and culture. The data provides solid evidence of the economic and quality of life impact of arts and culture in Houston.