The Catalyst for Creativity and the Incubator for Progress: The Arts, Culture, and the Texas Economy

As funding for so-called “non-essentials” such as the arts was dwindling and programs and investments were shrinking, The Perryman Group performed this study of the economic benefits of the arts (January 2001). The study demonstrates that the economic benefits of the arts go far beyond admissions fees and salaries paid, but instead are incorporated into virtually every segment of economic activity. The methods used in the study have been extended and utilized in many contexts and have played a role in funding arts programs throughout the US and the world.

The legacy of all great civilizations is in large measure the art they leave behind. It is little wonder that when the 100 most influential persons of the past millennium were named, about one-fourth of them were representatives of the cultural arts.

In addition to the position of the arts as an essential part of our social structure, they are also a substantial contributor to our economy. The arts are, in fact, totally ingrained in our economic system. Virtually all segments of the global economy have at least some component of their production tied to cultural activity.

The purpose of this study was to comprehensively examine the impact of the arts on Texas, its regions, and its metropolitan areas. The Perryman Group (TPG) performed this pro bono analysis for the Texas Cultural Trust in order to (1) raise the awareness of the total contributions of cultural activities within the state and (2) offer a perspective on future patterns and prospects.

The research design and conclusions emerging from this report surpasses typical evaluations of economic impacts, focusing on the full integration of the arts into the entire spectrum of production in Texas. More traditional measures are also provided. In the full report (available for download below), results are presented accompanied by a comprehensive focus on the past, current, and future role of the arts. Separate volumes of appendices offer a complete methodological discussion, detailed tables of findings for all areas of the state, and an extensive bibliography.