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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2007 Media Releases

June 6, 2007
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Deb Weber, Lincoln Arts Council, 434-2787


Mayor Chris Beutler and the Lincoln Arts Council (LAC) today released a study showing that the non-profit arts and culture industry generates more than $36 million in economic activity every year in Lincoln. Lincoln is one of 156 communities that participated recently in Arts & Economic Prosperity III, the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind ever conducted in the U.S. The study was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nationís leading non-profit organization for advancing the arts.

"We know how important the arts are to our quality of life in this community," Mayor Beutler said at a news conference at the Lied Center's Johnny Carson Theatre. "This report confirms that the arts and culture also are an important part of our local economy. The arts and culture have a significant role in our economic development efforts. Businesses want to locate in communities that value and foster creativity, innovation and new ideas. As we look to the future, we need to find ways not just to sustain our arts community, but to grow it as well."

The $36 million in economic activity generated includes more than $20 million spent by the organizations and another $15 million spent by audiences. The study shows that arts and cultural activities support 1,081 full-time equivalent jobs, providing $22 million in household income and delivering $3 million in local and state government tax revenue.

"The arts and culture are not luxuries - they are an essential part of the community, including the business community," said Rich Claussen, Executive Vice President for Client Services at Bailey Lauerman, who attended the news conference. "The arts and culture industry helps local businesses thrive and grow."

The LAC was the local partner in implementing the study. LAC Executive Director Deb Weber thanked Woods Charitable Fund, Inc. for funding the local effort. She said the study showed that 81 percent of the 1,285,642 event attendees were Lincoln residents.

"The 19 percent of attendees who came from outside of Lincoln spent three times more than the local patrons, generally for lodging, meals and transportation," said Weber. "Local patrons are the base, but arts and cultural tourism is a major area of potential growth."

The complete local study results will be posted on the LAC Web site at The national results are available at

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