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Nonprofit Industry Makes $74.2 Million Impact on Newark's Economy


Leaders from Newark-based nonprofit arts organizations announced today the local results of the newly-released Americans for the Arts’ Arts and Economic Prosperity study, the nation’s most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts industry. Spearheaded by The New Jersey Historical Society and The Newark Arts Council, the study was commissioned to measure — for the first time — the impact the state’s largest city has on economic activity, statewide and locally.

“The study is significant because it demonstrates how the largesse of foundation, corporate and individual patrons of the arts continue to have a major impact on arts organizations and the area’s economy,” said Linwood Oglesby, Executive Director of the Newark Arts Council.

The results of the study come on the heels of significant state budget cutbacks announced by Governor James McGreevey in late March. The arts, history and tourism communities have stepped up to rally support for increased funding in the amended state budget to be presented to the governor later this month.

In Newark, the study found that nonprofit arts organizations generated $74.2 million in economic activity in the city of Newark in 2001. That figure represents $2.8 million in local tax revenue and $3.9 million in state tax revenue.

Unlike most industries, arts spending also supports an array of other industries, such as printing, education, catering and accounting, while attendance at arts events generates related commerce for hotels, restaurants, parking garages and more.

“This study demonstrates how vital the arts are to the local economy. The numbers are significant for Newark and are actually even greater, for they do not reflect the residual spending the arts generate across the state. When communities – patrons and legislators – support the arts, they are investing in the quality of life, as well as the economic well-being of the entire community,” said Sally Yerkovich, President and CEO of The New Jersey Historical Society. “Yet, arts organizations throughout the state have been hit with budget cutbacks this fiscal year. The New Jersey Historical Society alone has suffered a major budget cut and is threatened with a comparable cut next year.”

“I applaud the Historical Society and Newark Arts Council for spearheading this important effort,” said Newark Mayor Sharpe James, who was recently awarded the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Local Arts Leadership Award. “It’s not just bricks and mortar that characterize the vibrancy of a city. In Newark’s case, its rich arts and cultural history provide an outlet for our youth and are the true heart and soul of our community.”

Local participating organizations included: Newark Arts Council; the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra; Newark Symphony Hall; The Newark Museum; Newark Public Library; WBGO Jazz 88; New Community Corporation Arts Program; City Without Walls; Aljira, A Center for Contemporary Art; School of the Garden State Ballet; African Globe Studio Theatre; City of Newark Division of Recreation and Cultural Affairs; Newark Boys Chorus School; Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee; Newark Community School of the Arts; The New Jersey Historical Society; New Jersey Film Commission; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; and NJN Public Television and Radio.

The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization for arts advocacy and research compiled the report based on data compiled from 3,000 nonprofit arts organizations and 40,000 attendees at arts events in 91 participating communities. Arts and Economic Prosperity: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts Organizations and Their Audiences, is a follow-up to the benchmark study – Jobs, Arts and the Economy, the most frequently cited source of statistics used to demonstrate the impact of the nation’s nonprofit arts industry on local, state, and national economies. To view the full text of the report, you can visit: www.AmericansForTheArts.org/EconomicImpact.

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