Art helps drive local economy

Business panel looks at effect of SCFD funding

The Colorado Business Committee for the Arts has issued its most recent report, called “Economic Activity Study of the Metro Denver Culture” which reports on statistics from activities completed in 2015. Results were compiled from reports by 100 percent of the 264 grantee organizations, large and small, that received funding from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District — or SCFD — in 2015.

“As a state, Colorado ranks top in the country for classical music concert, dance and theater performances and art museum attendance. The Denver metro area is also ranked high nationally for performing and visual arts attendance. With an emphasis on accessibility, free attendance went up 3 percent from 2013,” the report says.

In September, the SCFD Board of Directors approved distribution of $7,649,204 to 246 Tier III organizations in seven metro Denver counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson. The money is being distributed this month — Arapahoe got $1,589,604 on Oct. 13 and Douglas got $630,257 on Oct. 24. Funds are based on collection of one cent of sales tax on a $10 sale in the seven counties.

Economic impact

Here’s how the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts sees the economic impact of arts organizations assisted by SCFD funding:

• Economic activity: $1.8 billion

This includes operating expenditures, audience spending and capital expenditures. The ripple effect ranges widely — food for animals at the Denver Zoo; actors’ salaries that are spent locally; pay for a baby sitter so parents can attend shows; money spent to drive to Hudson Gardens or Morrison Natural History Museum …

• Total economic impact: $ 512.8 million

Cultural tourism: $367 million; capital expenditures: $55 million; federal grants: $90.8 million

• Total jobs: 10,731

This covers a broad array of positions, from curator to accountant to zookeeper to jazz teacher …

• Total payroll: $165.2 million

• Total seat, sales and payroll taxes: $19.8 million

• Total contributions: $176.4 million

• Total attendance: 13.9 million

The average metro resident had 4.5 art experiences in 2015.

• Total outreach to children: 3.9 million

• Total volunteers 42,415

Hours spent volunteering reached 2,031,073.

• SCFD distributions: $53.2 million.

-Sonya Ellingboe, Castle Rock News-Press