Written by David Marty, Reif President/
I often hear people talking about the arts in our community as being a very nice amenity…something that makes our community a nice place to live. The arts are recognized as a pleasant diversion. People enjoy seeing great performances at The Reif, and we regularly find fans traveling great distances to follow favorite artists. We know that 40% of our Reif audiences travel over an hour to attend performances here.
But people sometimes overlook the fact that, in addition to creating a great ambiance in our community, the arts have a major economic impact. This is not only true nationally and statewide, but right here in our community. A recent study revealed that our nonprofit arts and culture organizations have a $5.1 Million economic impact in Grand Rapids. That includes direct jobs and also indirect revenue from lodging, meals, gas and shopping. Our local arts attendees, on average, spend $19.85 in our community (in addition to the cost of the ticket), while each visitor spends $44.96 in our community. And our local nonprofit arts and culture sector generates audiences of over 86,000 people in a year.
So, the arts make Grand Rapids a great community to live in, to visit, and have a tremendous economic impact. A double win for the Grand Rapids area!