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ArtsFairfax and Arts & Economic Prosperity 6

ArtsFairfax is excited to partner with Americans for the Arts to conduct the local Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) study, the most comprehensive eco

nomic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry conducted in the United States.

We are asking ArtsFairfax grantees to collect a minimum of 40 anonymous audience-intercept surveys at festivals, exhibitions, performances, and other arts events from now through April 2023. The surveys are available both in paper form and via QR code and ask the same 12 questions and take less than three minutes to complete.

Contact ArtsFairfax to receive a participant toolkit. It is free to participate.

Participation in this research will help ArtsFairfax and Americans for the Arts quantify the economic impact of the arts and culture industry in Fairfax County. The customized report will reveal numerous insights, including analyses of arts and culture jobs throughout the County, and how spending differs between resident attendees and cultural tourists.



About AEP6

The Arts & Economic Prosperity® series is conducted approximately every five years to gauge the economic impact of spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and the event-related spending by their audiences. AEP5, conducted in 2017, revealed the following:

  • The arts drive commerce to local businesses. The arts leverage significant amounts of event-related spending by their audiences. In 2017, arts attendees spent $31.47 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and lodging—vital income for local businesses.
  • Arts travelers are ideal tourists. They stay longer and spend more to seek out authentic cultural experiences. One-third of attendees travel from outside the county in which the activity takes place and spend an average of $48 per person. (69% say they traveled specifically to attend the activity.)
  • Small investments. Big returns. In 2017, the combined $5 billion in direct arts funding by local, state, and federal governments yielded $27.5 billion in government revenue


AEP6 Equity & Inclusion

Americans for the Arts is committed to addressing equity and inclusion as a critical component of the methodology, organizational participation, and collection of data for AEP6 by centering and representing 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.


For the first time, AEP6 will establish a benchmark of arts and culture organizations that primarily serve communities of color, and the audiences that attend their events. It will also identify organizations that have a chief executive who identifies as BIPOC. Researchers will use the data to calculate the economic impact of the BIPOC arts sector in each of the 387 participating communities.


AEP6 Frequently Asked Questions

How long will Americans for the Arts accept surveys?

From now through April 2023! If you don’t have events happening for a few months, that’s okay. Let us know and we’ll be happy to send you reminders and survey tools for your Fall and Winter events.


Can we participate if we are not a performing venue?

Yes! The goal of AEP6 is to capture community data across artistic disciplines and at community fairs, festivals, book readings, concerts–you name it! We are collecting surveys from both paid admission and free admission activities. If you represent the nonprofit arts and culture community and are hosting any kind of public gathering, we want to hear from you.


Should we participate if we’re a youth organization and our audiences are mostly family members?

Yes! This study asks questions about the activities surrounding an arts event, including whether or not attendees had to travel, purchase food, attire, or other materials for the event. Any and all data is helpful!


How many surveys do we need to collect?

If you only get 10, we will take them! We’re asking participating organizations to try to collect at least 40 surveys from now through April 2023. All 395 participating communities across the country, including Fairfax County, are charged with collecting 800 surveys, 200 of which must be collected from BIPOC-led or BIPOC-centered organizations. Every survey counts!


We don’t have much staff to support this effort but we think it’s important. What should we do?

Let us know about key events on your calendar. ArtsFairfax staff will try to attend your event to support you. While we won’t be able to staff everything, we can work with you on a solution.


AEP6 Eligibility & Next Steps

ArtsFairfax is seeking nonprofit arts presenters and facilities to help us collect anonymous audience-intercept surveys from attendees at arts and culture events, including exhibitions, performances, festivals, etc. We have received customized research tools to capture data specifically for Fairfax County, including paper surveys available in twenty languages AND scannable QR codes to surveys sent directly to Americans for the Arts.

All AEP6 surveys ask the same twelve questions and take less than three minutes to complete. The surveys must be completed on site.


Contact ArtsFairfax to receive a participant toolkit. It is free to participate.

For more information and a full list of the communities participating in the AEP6 study, visit