Arts & Culture

How do we value the Arts & Culture field?

The arts and culture field encompasses performing, visual, and fine arts as well as heritage, folklife, digital media, applied arts such as architecture and graphic design, and other creative activities. The work of arts and culture is diverse. While some focus on the generation, sharing, and experiencing of art in its various forms, much of arts and culture work is preventative in nature or uses arts and culture as an intervention strategy.

Almost $1.9 billion is invested in over 1,400 Illinois social impact organizations that do arts and culture work, and those groups engage individuals over 38 million times each year. Only 7% of that investment is from public sources, and the remainder is from private sources like foundations as well as earned income from ticket sales, membership dues, and the like. Download the Arts and Culture fact sheet.

$1: $27

Every $1 invested in the Illinois arts and culture field generates an estimated $27 in socio-economic value.


Accrues to individuals participating in arts and culture programs, events, and activities.


Accrues to society through increased tax revenue, increased spending in the state due to arts and culture jobs, and the ripple effect of audience spending in Illinois.

The work of the arts and culture sector has value.

It plays an economic role in Illinois–as job creators, as avoiders of costly social problems. It is also a builder of human capital and a pillar in communities.

If you care about this work and the future of Illinois’ arts and culture field, share this story or leave a story of your organization’s impact!


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