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Monday, October 4, 2010  
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CONTACTS: Elizabeth Brincklow, Arts and International Relations Manager, 727-551-3250,

John Collins, Chair of the Arts Advisory Committee, 727-518-5142,

Maria Luisa Corton, Ph.D., USF St. Petersburg College of Business, 727-873-4179,


ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (September 29, 2010) - The arts in St. Petersburg not only improves the city's quality of life, they are an economic powerhouse in the city, according to a new study. The city's arts and cultural organizations fuel an economic impact of more than $23 million and attract 1.3 million visitors to the city each year - creating 519 jobs.

The study, commissioned by the city's Arts Advisory Committee, conducted by the USF
St. Petersburg College of Business, and underwritten by Bank of America, surveyed 32 arts and cultural organizations, including non-profit institutions such as museums and theater companies, and for-profit galleries and businesses that are members of the Downtown Arts Association. As such, "the total economic impact figure calculated is conservative, and does not represent the total vast and diverse collection of arts businesses in the city," said John Collins, who is chair of the city's Arts Advisory Committee and also worked with USF St. Petersburg's College of Business in developing the survey as a consultant with Organizational Advancement Consulting.

The report also showed that:
o Every $1 million spent at St. Petersburg arts-related venues creates more than 22 jobs;

o Every $1 spent at an arts-related business generates $1.775in economic activity throughout the region;

o Every $1 spent at an arts business generates six cents in household earnings throughout the greater St. Petersburg area;

o Every new job in the arts and cultural industry supports .45 new jobs in the area - or for approximately two jobs in the arts, a new job is created in our local economy;

o Arts and cultural industries ranked fifth among all industries in the greater St. Petersburg area;

o Of the 1.3 million visitors that are attracted to the arts in St. Petersburg, 25 percent are from outside the city - fueling additional growth in tourism-related businesses in the city; and

o More than 7,000 volunteers donate more than a quarter million hours at local arts institutions.

"This study supports the belief that there is a strong return on the investment for all aspects of the arts," said Collins. "The arts are a critical component of a thriving city in terms of basic economics as well as contributing to a creative and energetic quality of life that is desirable for all growing cities."

"We are thrilled the survey emphasizes what we've known all along - that visual and performing arts and continued development of arts education play a significant role in job creation and the overall economic growth of our community," said Elizabeth Brincklow, St. Petersburg's Arts and International Relations Manager. "Our residents and businesses appreciate the arts, understand how essential they are to a city's growth, and are willing to support them long-term."

One outgrowth of the survey is a new banner program underwritten by Bank of America which will provide two free street banners to arts organizations that participated in the survey process. The banners will adorn the city's light poles in the downtown cultural district and highlight arts organizations in St. Petersburg.

"The Bank of America is committed to strengthening arts and culture institutions and, in turn, strengthening the economies and the communities we serve," said Bank of America's Tampa Bay Market President Bill Goede. "Our support of this study helps the region quantify the value added of a thriving arts community such as St. Petersburg, and will be useful in ensuring local creative industries are sustained."

The complete survey and participating organizations may be viewed at


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