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Nevada's Arts & Culture Industry Brings In Hundreds Of Millions Annually

Yama Rongomas

Nevada’s non-profit arts and culture organizations accounted for more than $471 million in economic activity, and 10,000 full-time jobs in 2015.

That’s according to the latest national Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 study.

Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick sat down with the head of the Nevada Arts Council to learn more about the industry’s role in the state’s economy.

KUNR: Can you just walk me through the report? What were some of the main findings?

Ficklin: The nonprofit industry generates about $471.7 million in activity in our state, and that supports about 10,494 full-time jobs. We give out grants to a number of organizations that participated in this survey. The amount we gave out in the fiscal year 2015 was $825,000.

So $825,000 generating $471.7 million is a real good return.

The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations in Nevada by KUNR Reno Public Radio on Scribd

What is the arts and culture industry? What makes an arts and culture job? What’s an arts and culture business?

The nonprofit is what this survey is based on. So we did not include any of the for-profit arts and culture activity, which would mean none of the casinos were involved. The things that are involved are the nonprofit organizations such as the Reno Little Theater, the Pioneer Center. We do Western Folklife Center. So there’s a lot of different organizations that make that up.

Basically in this, any organization that is arts and culture, and provided events is included. We have over 580 in our state.

What’s the role of state and federal grants in moving this industry forward, and do you see that changing with the current federal administration that is cutting spending in those areas?

We get a portion of our funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the state of Nevada through [the] general fund and through the department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs through room tax. So we have three major funding sources.

With that, yes the president has said he doesn’t want the NEA. We’re hoping with this information that he realizes that arts and culture is a vital piece in America. If for some reason the NEA is cut, I feel the state of Nevada will step up and not allow these organizations to fall.

Even though we don’t give out huge amounts of grants, the small amounts we do give is leverage for them to get additional funding. It’s kind of a seal of approval, ‘Hey you got a grant from the Arts Council that’s partly NEA…yeah we’ll give you some money.’

Let me just ask you…pie in the sky, what’s the future of the arts and culture look like? Are there plans from the state side to keep this momentum going?

Yes, I believe there are. And I believe nationally there’s a big push as well. Americans for the Arts is a nonprofit organization that does advocate for the arts and culture and humanities. The National Endowment for the Arts obviously is federally-funded.

I think that any society that you look at that’s fallen, the first thing that goes is its arts and culture. And so I think that it’s very important and I think that we as a state need to bring it to the forefront.

What’s the next step for this report? You’ve got this data now that shows economic impact. What’s the next step now? Does this go up to the National Endowment for the Arts? Does this go to a federal agency of some sort?

So the large report, yes, is going to the National Endowment for the Arts, to legislatures, to Congressmen, that sort of thing.

Our report locally is, yes, we’re putting it out. We’re doing some outreach to get this information out to people. We’ve got it going to the legislatures, to the governor, so they’ll realize we do have a place here.

The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations in Reno, Nev. by KUNR Reno Public Radio on Scribd

Noah Glick is a former content director and host at KUNR Public Radio.
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