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Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance Releases Economic & Social Impact Study

Friday, May 3, 2024

PHILADELPHIA (April 30, 2024) – The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance (“Cultural Alliance”) today released the results of Arts, Culture & Economic Prosperity: Greater Philadelphia, an economic and social impact study of the Greater Philadelphia region’s nonprofit arts and culture industry. The study found Southeastern Pennsylvania’s cultural organizations and their audiences have a combined economic impact of $3.3 Billion annually, based on data from the Americans for the Arts and Economic Prosperity 6 (“AEP6”) survey conducted from May 2022 through June 2023. The full results of the study can be found at

“The Arts, Culture & Economic Prosperity study reinforces that the arts and culture sector remains a powerhouse for Greater Philadelphia, delivering profound economic and social benefit to our region,” said Patricia Wilson Aden, President & CEO, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. “The return on investment in the arts is undeniable, underscoring our continued calls for greater public investment at the local, state, and federal levels.” 

AEP6 is the sixth economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in the U.S. The study is conducted approximately every five years by Americans for the Arts to gauge the economic impact of spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and the event-related spending by their audiences. The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance conducted additional analysis for this report in partnership with PA Humanities

In terms of economic impact, the study found: 

  • Southeastern Pennsylvania’s cultural organizations and their audiences have a combined economic impact of $3.3 Billion. This includes: 
    • $1.9B in direct expenditures by organizations and their audiences 
    • $1.4B in indirect and induced economic impact 
  • Arts and culture return $1.4 Billion in household income to Southeastern Pennsylvania residents. 
  • The arts have a remarkable return on investment and generate $429 million in tax revenue at the local, state, and federal levels. 

For event-related spending by arts and culture audiences, the study found: 

  • The typical event attendee in Greater Philadelphia spends $49.19 per person per event, not including the cost of admission. 
    • This is $5 more than the average spend reported from AEP in 2017, when adjusted for inflation. 
  • 13.5 million people attended in-person cultural sites and events in fiscal year 2022. 
    • PA CultureCheck, another recent study released by the Cultural Alliance and PA Humanities, found that attendance largely remained below pre-pandemic levels during the fiscal year 2022. Only 32% of the region’s arts and culture organizations reported attendance levels at or above 2019 levels. 

“When visitors come to Philadelphia to visit a gallery or see a performance, they’re not just spending on a ticket. They’re generating revenue for our restaurants, our hotels, purchasing gifts and souvenirs, paying for parking and childcare,” Aden continued. “Arts travelers are a boon not only for arts and culture organizations, but for our allied industries in tourism, hospitality, retail, and more. Meaningful cultural experiences are the lifeblood of our city and its vibrancy.” 

More than 500 arts and culture organizations participated in the latest research and 1,072 individuals completed the Americans for the Arts and Economic Prosperity (AEP) survey while attending a performance, event, exhibit or while visiting a cultural event or facility in the Greater Philadelphia Region during the period from May 2022 through June 2023. Greater Philadelphia data represents the five-county region (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia). 

Arts, Culture & Economic Prosperity: Greater Philadelphia and PA CultureCheck are both part of the Cultural Alliance’s robust research program, which prioritizes rigorous, innovative research focused on the relationship between the residents of the Philadelphia region and arts and culture. 


About Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance 

Established in 1972, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is the region’s leading arts and cultural advocacy, research, and marketing organization. Our mission is to “lead, strengthen and amplify the voices of a cultural community that ignites creativity, inspires people and is essential for a healthy region.” Our membership includes more than 450 organizations ranging from museums and dance companies to community art centers, historic sites, music ensembles and zoos. For more information on the Cultural Alliance, please visit

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