Fairfax County Nonprofit Arts and Culture Sector Generates $260.3M in Economic Activity  

Fairfax County Nonprofit Arts and Culture Sector Generates $260.3M in Economic Activity  

Fairfax County Nonprofit Arts and Culture Sector Generates $260.3M in Economic Activity  

Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 Study Highlights Vital Role of Arts and Culture in Building More Livable Communities  


Fairfax, Virginia (January 10, 2024) — ArtsFairfax today announced that Fairfax County’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $260.3 million in economic activity in FY22 according to the recently released Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), an economic and social impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts.  


That economic activity — $180.2 million in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and $80.1 million in event-related spending by their audiences — supported 3,070 jobs and generated $43.7 million in local, state, and federal government revenue.  


As the research partner for Fairfax County, ArtsFairfax collected expenditure data from 70 local nonprofit arts and culture organizations as well as 924 anonymous audience surveys, 209 of which were collected at events presented, produced, or hosted by organizations that serve BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) or ALAANA (African, Latine, Asian, Arab, Native American) identifying communities. The economic data reflected in this study does not account for for-profit venues, area museums, and historical heritage sites.  


Additional report highlights include:  

  • The average arts attendee spent an additional $22.17 per person per event, not including the cost of admission or participation fees.
  • 39% of arts and culture attendees were nonlocal visitors who traveled from outside Fairfax County to attend the event, contributing $31.2 million to our local businesses.
  • 64.5% of nonlocal audiences at BIPOC/ALAANA arts activities indicated that it was their first time at the activity or venue, as opposed to an average of 47.4% of all nonlocal arts audiences.

“Arts and Entertainment was the second hardest hit industry during the pandemic behind Hospitality. This study demonstrates that arts nonprofits were resilient moving forward into 2023 and remain important to our continued recovery to strengthen the economy, drive cultural tourism, and inspire community pride,” said Linda Sullivan, President & CEO, ArtsFairfax 


“Arts and culture organizations have a powerful ability to attract and hold dollars in the community longer. They employ people locally, purchase goods and services from nearby businesses, and produce the authentic cultural experiences that are magnets for visitors, tourists, and new residents,” said Nolen V. Bivens, President & CEO, Americans for the Arts 


For more Fairfax County outcomes, visit ArtsFairfax.org/AEP6.   


About AEP6 

Building on its 30-year legacy as the largest and most inclusive study of its kind, AEP6 uses a rigorous methodology to document the economic and social contributions of the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry. AEP6 reveals that nationally the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $151.7 billion industry—one that supports 2.6 million jobs and generates $29.1 billion in government revenue.  


The full report, a map of the 373 study regions, and a two-page economic impact summary for each, can be found at AEP6.AmericansForTheArts.org 


The Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 study was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. It was supported by The Ruth Lilly Endowment Fund of Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts’ 297 study partners contributed both time and financial support to the study.  


About ArtsFairfax   

ArtsFairfax is the nonprofit designated as Fairfax County’s local arts agency. Dedicated to the belief that arts are essential to a thriving community, the ArtsFairfax mission is to expand support for and access to arts and culture opportunities for the more than 1.2 million residents across Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, and the City of Falls Church. By offering informational, financial, and programmatic services, ArtsFairfax promotes the role of arts and culture to deepen social engagement, create a sense of place, and fuel economic growth.   

Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) since 1964, ArtsFairfax provides these services to all who contribute to and experience arts in Fairfax County, and is funded in part by the County, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as corporations, foundations, and individuals.