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Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) national impact study completed in the Great Kingsport Area provides evidence that the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in the Greater Kingsport area—one that generates $29.5 million in total economic activity. This spending—$9.6 million by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and an additional $19.9 million in event-related spending by their audiences—was reported by 25 local organizations.

The City of Kingsport Arts & Culture Office led local efforts. They collected 845 surveys from audiences attending events at the 25 participating local nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, and coordinated financial and program data collection from the organizations.

“The AEP5 study confirmed what we have known for a long time. The arts are a driving force in Kingsport’s economy.” – Bonnie Macdonald director of Kingsport’s office of cultural arts.

The study reported that there were 685,512 nonprofit arts and culture attendees in the Greater Kingsport area in 2015, 57% of who were residents. Of the nonresident survey respondents, 85% indicated that the primary purpose of their visit to the Greater Kingsport area was “specifically to attend this arts/cultural event.” Nonresident attendees spent an average of 41% more per person than local attendees ($34.85 vs. $24.81) as a result of their attendance to cultural events.

The study shows that arts and culture help retain local dollars: 54% of local resident attendees said they would have “traveled to a different community to attend a similar cultural event” if the event was not taking place locally.

The statewide report shows that Tennessee’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $1.17 billion in annual economic activity—supporting 38,482 full-time equivalent jobs, and generating $837.8 million in household income and delivering $135.9 million in local and state government revenues.

The Tennessee Arts Commission worked with 25 local partners and nine development districts to produce a statewide report and customized city, county and regional reports. Data was collected from 642 participating nonprofit organizations across the state and included 14,915 audience participation surveys. The study does not include numbers from individual artists or for-profit arts, music and culture businesses.

“This study demonstrates that nonprofit arts and culture is a significant industry in Tennessee and the Greater Kingsport area—supporting jobs, generating local and state revenue, and driving tourism,” said Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission.

The reception and presentation for the study will be held on Tuesday, October 3 at Kingsport City Hall. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and will recognize the organizations that partnered with Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts for the Arts & Economic Prosperity study. The event is open to the public.

For more information on the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study, visit

arts reception invitation