Arts & Economic Prosperity - Study 6

Think about the last time you attended a cultural event. Did you go with friends or take your family? Did you drive or maybe take the Brightline? Did you pay for parking, go out to…

Think about the last time you attended a cultural event. Did you go with friends or take your family? Did you drive or maybe take the Brightline? Did you pay for parking, go out to dinner or hire a babysitter?

These are just a few of the ways that the arts and culture industry intersects with our local economy. Gaining accurate insight into the full scope of the creative sector’s economic impact not only helps us convey the many benefits this industry brings to our community, but also helps us advocate for funding that will help ensure its robust health into the future.

photo of beach with text about arts economic impact

New Partnership: Broward County and the City of Fort Lauderdale Examine Economic Impact of the Local Arts and Culture Industry

County and City elected officials kick off the arts season with major announcement

Broward County and the City of Fort Lauderdale announced a new partnership and commitment to arts and culture with the launch of their participation in Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States.

The collaboration between Broward County and the City of Fort Lauderdale was officially announced by County Mayor Michael Udine at a brief gathering Thursday, Oct. 20, 10:30AM in downtown Fort Lauderdale at NSU Art Museum. Cultural Division Director Phil Dunlap, County Commissioner and Broward Cultural Council member Steve Geller and Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Steve Glassman also addressed the crowd of media and arts leaders about the importance of this research and the role of the arts as an economic engine for tourism and jobs in our region. 

The Arts & Economic Prosperity® series is conducted approximately every five years to gauge the economic impact of spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and the event-related spending by their audiences. Nationally, in 2017, AEP5 documented that the nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion in economic activity. Locally, data compiled by the Broward County Cultural Division for AEP5, reported an annual $414.2 million in economic impact.

The arts bring us inspiration and joy, and make our communities beautiful places to live and work. But the arts do so much more.

– Americans for the Arts

While the arts have the potential to impact many aspects of a community, the truth is they also have power all on their own. The arts are an open invitation to engage in our history, our heritage, our politics, and the way we learn—in short, the arts are part of our daily lives, and play a role in all aspects of the human experience.

Economic impact studies like AEP6 will expand the conversation about how many people view the arts. While most appreciate the cultural benefit provided to our community, few realize that our local arts industry supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is a cornerstone of tourism.

As we welcome the new arts season this fall, audience members at local cultural institutions and events may be asked to provide insights about their experiences. If you’re prompted to complete a survey, we greatly appreciate your participation. These surveys allow us – as your local arts agency – to gain valuable insight and report on the financial return of our sector more accurately, which impacts the future of funding and development of arts and culture for our region.

Let’s change the conversation. The arts mean business.


For the first time, AEP6 will require the collection of audience surveys from attendees at events hosted by arts and culture organizations that primarily represent BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American) identifying communities.

The AEP6 study will establish a benchmark of arts and culture organizations that primarily serve communities of color and the audiences that attend their events. It will also identify organizations that have a chief executive who identifies as BIPOC/ALAANA.

Researchers will use this data to calculate and report on the economic impact of the BIPOC/ALAANA arts sector in each of the participating communities.

The Audience Survey

Audience surveys will be collected from attendees at performances, events, exhibits, venues, and facilities through April 2023. Access AFTA’s Partner Toolkit here.

Participating organizations in Broward County can access the surveys and additional resources in the Cultural Division’s Organizational Toolkit here.


PDF: To be printed and used as a traditional paper survey. All printed surveys should be physically mailed to Broward Cultural Division.

QR Code: This format allows attendees to participate electronically using their own smart devices while on-site attending an in-person activity.

URL: A “Kiosk” version of the survey to be used on a tablet computer such as an iPad that is passed around to attendees while they are on-site attending the programming.

The Organizational Survey

Organizational surveys have been distributed to local nonprofit cultural organizations in Broward County; the survey will collect information about each organization’s revenues, expenditures, physical (in-person) attendance, virtual attendance, staff size, and volunteers.

The survey will also include a set of diversity and inclusion questions designed to identify organizations that primarily serve a community of color and organizations that have a chief executive who identifies as a person of color.


To reach audiences, Broward County Cultural Division needs your help! We are looking to partner with arts and culture groups throughout our service area to both help raise awareness about AEP6 and to take part in survey collection. Commercial businesses and individual artists are NOT eligible to be partners in survey collection.

The following types of organizations ARE eligible:

  • Traditional nonprofit arts and culture organizations (e.g., museums, theaters, etc.)
  • Municipally owned and municipally operated presenting facilities or institutions (e.g., a city-operated facility)
  • Unincorporated community arts and culture organizations (e.g., a community theater)
  • Arts programs embedded in non-arts organizations (e.g., an arts program in a church, library, or senior center)
  • Living collections such as botanical gardens, zoos, and aquariums
  • Historical societies and other historical or historic preservation organizations
  • Private arts councils (and cultural alliances, etc.)
  • Municipal arts agencies (e.g., an arts commission or a department of cultural affairs

Broward County contact: If your organization matches any of these descriptions and presents events in the Broward County region, please contact Janet Ellison at 954-357-7321 or

City of Fort Lauderdale contact: If your organization presents arts and cultural events within the City of Fort Lauderdale, please contact the City of Fort Lauderdale’s new Officer of Cultural Affairs, Joshua Carden, at 954-828-5044 or

For more information and a full list of the communities participating in the AEP6 study, visit

Access the press release about the official announcement here.

Broward Cultural Division on social media

Americans for the Arts on social media