The Upper Valley Business Alliance and Upper Valley Arts Alliance are pleased to announce that the Upper Valley's nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $18,972,138 in economic activity in 2022-2023, according to the newly released Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), an economic and social impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts. That economic activity–$18,972,138 in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and $2,431,895 in event-related spending by their audiences supported 308 jobs and generated $2,450,720 in local, state, and federal government revenue. Spending by arts and culture audiences generates valuable commerce to local merchants, a value-add that few other industries can compete with.
"These results prove what we know from experience – that the Arts are critical to our quality of life in the Upper Valley," says Samantha Davidson Green, executive director with Junction Arts & Media (JAM). "As a media arts non-profit that strives to uplift the efforts of our neighbor arts organization, we witness at close range and take inspiration from their vast impact for both audiences and creators of all ages in our region. The Arts make the Upper Valley a uniquely desirable place to live and work."
Building on its 30-year legacy as the largest and most inclusive study of its kind, AEP6 uses a rigorous methodology to document the economic and social contributions of the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry. The study demonstrates locally as well as nationally, arts and culture are a critical economic driver of vibrant communities.
The Upper Valley study included arts and culture organizations in both the New Hampshire and Vermont areas of the Upper Valley - the only time such a study has been conducted that focuses on the Upper Valley as a regional economy.
"Previous studies have always focused on either state," explains Tracy Hutchins, executive director of the Upper Valley Business Alliance, a regional chamber of commerce located in Lebanon, New Hampshire. "However, the Upper Valley's economy is based on the bi-state region. Audiences and participants in the arts flow across the Connecticut River, from going to dinner in Lebanon to watching a theater performance in White River Junction on the same evening. Studies conducted previously by state arts organizations just didn't tell the whole story when it came to the Upper Valley."
“We were so pleased to partner with UVBA on this groundbreaking study,” said Joe Clifford, Executive Director of Lebanon Opera House. “For so long, we’ve relied on anecdotal information to demonstrate how our region’s arts ecosystem benefits the local economy. Now, we have quantifiable Upper Valley-specific data which affirms what we know in our bones: a thriving artistic community enhances quality of life and has a measurable impact on local businesses and their ability to attract and retain talented employees.”
The Upper Valley Arts Alliance (UVAA) was founded in 2004 in response to a widespread recognition of the importance of the “Creative Economy” and its important role in providing a vibrant and stable community base. Another important attribute is that the arts help attract and retain employees to our region. In 2021, the Arts Alliance merged under the Upper Valley Business Alliance (UVBA).
Nationally, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) study reveals that America’s nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $151.7 billion industry—one that supports 2.6 million jobs and generates $29.1 billion in government revenue.
Read the Impact Summary
Read the Full Study