Releases | New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

New Mexico participates in sixth national, most comprehensive study of nonprofit arts and culture industry; new focus on equity and inclusion 

June 14th, 2022

Santa Fe, NM – A new study is underway to gauge the economic impact of America’s nonprofit arts and culture industry, including New Mexico’s. The past five studies by Americans for the Arts (conducted every five years) have shown significant economic activity, with the 2017 survey documenting that the nonprofit arts industry generated $166.3 billion in spending by organizations and audience spending. In New Mexico, the creative sector contributes about $5.9 billion to the state’s economy each year. 

This year’s survey of patrons of the arts and those organizations, called Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), will require that local and state researchers collect a percentage of surveys from attendees of arts and culture organizations that primarily serve BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American) identifying communities – a segment of the nonprofit arts and culture sector that has been underrepresented in past studies. The AEP6 study will establish a benchmark of arts and culture organizations that primarily serve communities of color and the audiences who attend their events. According to Americans for the Arts – the group responsible for the study – it will also identify organizations that have a chief executive who identifies as BIPOC/ALAANA. 

“Often when we try to estimate the economic impact of an arts activity in a community, we tend limit our thinking to the cost of the ticket to attend and perhaps the revenue generated from any merchandise or concession sales at the event,” said New Mexico Arts division director Michelle Laflamme-Childs. “In fact, there is significantly more to consider including spending on gas, food, drinks, parking, babysitters, hotel, shopping, and the like that occur in conjunction with attending the arts event. AEP6 audience intercept surveys collect this data to give us a much broader, and more accurate, picture of the significant economic impact arts activities have on local communities.” 

Audience-intercept surveys will be collected from attendees to arts events in participating communities from May 2022 through April 2023—the national sample is anticipated to surpass 250,000 surveys. A survey of nonprofit arts and culture organizations will occur from January through April 2023. The national findings, as well as the results for each of the 387 participating communities across the nation, will be made public in September 2023. New Mexico will receive a customized economic report with the number of jobs supported, how much revenue is generated, and economic activity of its nonprofit arts and culture sector. 

About New Mexico Arts  

New Mexico Arts is the state arts agency and a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. New Mexico Arts administers the state’s One Percent for Public Art program, awards grants to nonprofit organizations for arts and cultural programs in their communities across the state, and provides technical assistance and educational opportunities for organizations, artists, and arts educators throughout New Mexico. 

Americans for the Arts a national arts service organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1960, it serves, advances, and provides leadership to the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts and arts education in America. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for everyone to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.  


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NM Arts is a division of NM Dept. of Cultural Affairs

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