The arts in Metro Denver help light a fire under our economy.
With big bucks, actually.
This morning, the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) gathered the cultural and political tribes to learn the results of the biennial Economic Activity Study 2017 information gathered from 2017.
The dollar amounts are impressive:
- The total economic activity: $1.9 billion, an 8% increase over 2015
- The economic impact of money spent on or generated by cultural organizations (and artists): $573 million, a 12% increase over 2015 (and capital spending by arts organizations increased 40% between 2015 and 2017)
- Employment in the arts reached an all-time, says the new report: 11,820 jobs, a 10% includes over 2015
- Cultural philanthropy – grants from foundations, corporations, individuals along with in-kind goods and services: $182.6 million, a 3.5% percent increase over 2015
- Cultural attendance: 15 million, an 8.5% increase over 2015
There were performances, and speeches from cultural leaders, guided by hosts who kept the line-up moving along: Michael Gadlin and Kate Perdoni, who are co-hosts of Arts District, on Rocky Mountain PBS. (There’s a shot of them posted here from the event.) And there was a reminder that the seven-county Scientific and Cultural District is turning 30 this year, but more on that later.
Tonight, on Rocky Mountain PBS – Channel 6 to those of us in Denver – the Arts District show at 7 p.m. will air a segment on the CBCA’s work.
Just as impressive is the fact that William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody showed up, looking spry for someone the age of 172. Buffalo Bill appeared during a talk on economic impact by Shannon Dennison, the Denver Mountain Parks Cultural Resources Administrator, Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave. Yes, Buffalo Bill is buried there.