The arts mean business! The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $140.1 million in annual economic activity in Lee County—supporting 3,875 full-time equivalent jobs, and generating $18.8 million in local and state government revenues, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) study. The most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States, AEP5 was spearheaded by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. By every measure, the results are impressive. Nationally, the nonprofit arts industry generated $166.3 billion of economic activity in 2015 — for national study details visit Americans for the Arts.
Fort Myers Arts & Economic Prosperity Report
Within the city limits of Fort Myers, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $49.7 million in annual economic activity —supporting 1,389 full-time equivalent jobs, and generating $6.7 million in local and state government revenue.
This study could not have been completed without the cooperation of the 41 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in Lee County:
Acoustic Music Society of Southwest Florida; Art Council of SWFL; ArtFest Fort Myers; Arts for Act Gallery; Arts in Healthcare Program; BIG Arts; Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at FSW; Cape Coral Art League; Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs; Cultural Park Theater Company; JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge; Edison and Ford Winter Estates; Edison Festival of Light; Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center; Florida Gulf Coast University Art Gallery; Florida Repertory Theatre; Fort Myers Community Concert Association; Fort Myers Symphonic Master Singers; SWFL American Sewing Guild; Ghostbird Theatre Company; Gulf Coast Symphony; Gulfshore Ballet; Imaginarium Science Center; Laboratory Theater of Florida; Lee County Alliance for The Arts; Mound House; Music For Minors Foundation; River District Alliance; Ronald McDonald House Charities Of Southwest Florida; Sanibel Music Festival; Shell Museum & Educational Foundation; Southwest Florida Historical Society; Southwest Florida Pastel Society; Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra; Southwest Florida Museum of History; Symphonic Chorale of Southwest Florida; Theatre Conspiracy; Uncommon Friends Foundation; Weavers of Char-Lee; WGCU Public Media; and Young Artists Awards.
Special thanks to the following volunteers:
Michael Broyles, Deb Meisenberg, Dori Steele, Sam Stone, Mike Sohn, Nancy Gibson, Jessica Wisdom, Virginia Smith, Keniki Greer, Geri McArdle, Carol Robinson, Ava Roeder, Taylor Tringali, Carolyn Gora, Valerie Doss and the many other helping hands who participated in the data collection process.