The City of Mesa’s Department of Arts and Culture is excited to announce that the Mesa nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $35.3 million in economic activity in 2022, according to the newly released Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6),an economic and social impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts.

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The economic activity of $19.3 million in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and $16 million in event-related spending by their audiences supported 960 jobs, provided $43.1 million in personal income to residents and generated $13.2 million in local, state and federal government revenue. Spending by arts and culture audiences generates valuable commerce to local merchants, a value-add that few other industries can compete with. The study demonstrates that Mesa’s arts and culture are a critical economic driver of vibrant communities.

“Mesa has a lot to be proud of when it comes to our arts and culture venues and museums,” said Mayor John Giles. “This study highlights that these centers of community life are also significant economic drivers for our city.”

Key impact from Mesa’s AEP6 study:

Arts and culture drives commerce to local businesses. When people attend a cultural event, they often make an outing of it — dining at a restaurant, paying for parking or public transportation, enjoying dessert after the show and returning home to pay for child or pet care. Overall, in the City of Mesa, attendees spend $30.37 per person per event, beyond the cost of admission.

Arts and culture strengthen the visitor economy. In the City of Mesa, 16.8% of attendees are nonlocal visitors who traveled from outside Maricopa County; they spend an average of $53.23. Additionally, 82.4% of nonlocal attendees reported that the primary purpose of their visit was specifically to attend the performance, event, exhibit, venue or facility where they were surveyed.

Arts and culture organizations contribute to community pride in the City of Mesa.

  • 85.1% of arts and culture attendees agree that the activity or venue where they were surveyed “is inspiring a sense of pride in this neighborhood or community.”
  • 86.6% agree that “I would feel a great sense of loss if this activity or venue were no longer available.”
  • 77.0% agree that the venue or facility where they were surveyed is “an important pillar for me within my community.”

By measuring arts and culture’s wide-ranging impact, public and private sector leaders can work together to secure funding and arts-friendly policies that shape more vibrant and equitable communities.

Nationally, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6)study reveals that America’s 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.

“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 and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “When we invest in nonprofit arts and culture, we strengthen our economy and build more livable communities.”

To learn more and for the full report, visit For a map of the 373 study regions, and a two-page economic impact summary for each, visit