ArtPrize 2012 - Opening Day
April 12, 2012 update:
Details to be announced
More than 320,000 people attended the 19-day international art competition
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., December 20, 2011 - A new economic impact study released today by Experience Grand Rapids and conducted by East Lansing-based Anderson Economic Group, LLC (AEG) reveals the 2011 ArtPrize event added $15.4 million to the local economy, attracted more than 320,000 visitors and created more than 200 new jobs during its 19 days.
"For the past three years, we have seen first-hand the remarkable transformation of our city thanks in large part to this incredible social experiment, and it was time we understood and quantified its impact," said Doug Small, president of Experience Grand Rapids. "The new study validates much of what we've known since ArtPrize launched: it has a clear and positive impact on Grand Rapids."
The report, "The Economic Impact of ArtPrize 2011," was conducted during and immediately following this year's event to capture current year data. Key findings in the study include:
1. ArtPrize generated more than 320,000 attendee days, drawing people from across the county and around the world into the Grand Rapids area.
2. ArtPrize generated more than $10.1 million in net new spending by attendees plus an additional $1.9 million in local expenditures related to event operations.
3. The total net new economic impact from ArtPrize 2011 is estimated to have been $15.4 million. This generated 204 jobs and more than $4.6 million in new earnings for local households.
4. ArtPrize also provides intangible benefits to Greater Grand Rapids by increasing awareness of the region, enriching the creative culture and increasing social capital.
"The economic impact of ArtPrize is considerable, especially for an event that is still in its infancy," said Scott Watkins, a senior consultant with AEG. "By drawing people downtown and not charging an admission, our study shows locals and visitors alike spend money at area businesses that might not otherwise attract them as customers."
The study provides a comprehensive assessment of event attendance, visitor spending, local spending by the ArtPrize organization, and the economic impacts that accrue beyond the initial expenditures of visitors and the host organization. It also accounts for economic substitution. The analysis illustrates the new economic activity attributable to ArtPrize and does not double count spending in the area that would have otherwise occurred if the event was not held.
"While the report shows the economic benefits to our region, ArtPrize has a much broader value. For nearly three weeks, it places Grand Rapids in the national and international spotlight showcasing all that we have to offer," added Small. "The event has helped to capture the attention of national meeting planners to consider Grand Rapids for a future convention."
In 2009, ArtPrize charged onto the Grand Rapids scene using a distinct decentralized format and renowned public vote. In subsequent years it added juried awards to explore the tension between the professional and populist in an epic conversation about art.
"Communities thrive when individuals are given the flexibility and encouragement to be creative and a population is provided with the freedom to voice their opinion," concluded Catherine Creamer, executive director of ArtPrize. "The Anderson study shows that small experiments like ArtPrize can have significant impact, and we are pleased that Grand Rapids is thriving as a result."
Anderson Economic Group has broad experience analyzing the economic impacts for a variety of events, including Major League Baseball games, the Olympic Games and Ryder Cup as well as for numerous other regional and statewide initiatives and institutions in the private and public sector.
In addition to Experience Grand Rapids, The Right Place, Inc. and WKK Fund of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, contributed to funding the study.
The full report is available online at http://www.experiencegr.com/media/current-news-releases/.