What are we measuring?
Funding for the arts and cultural programs in Fulton County at the local level comes mainly through the Fulton County Department of Arts & Culture and the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs. Both agencies use their funding in the support and development of artists, arts organizations, arts institutions, public art and cultural programming for residents. This measure tracks the combined expenditures by those two sources.
Why are we measuring it?
The arts are essential to the quality of life of our citizens and to the economic and social health of our communities. Funding by local government helps ensure that all citizens have access to arts and cultural programs. There is a strong demand for participatory arts events and classes in Fulton County. Annually, nearly 3,500 youth and adults participate in arts classes at Fulton County Art Council arts centers and upwards of 1,500 youth attended spring break or summer break camps at these same centers. In addition, a total of nearly 7,500 adults and youth attend performances, special events, and recitals at our arts centers.
Investment in the Arts can also have significant economic impacts. In Fulton County, the Arts create thousands of jobs and generate millions in revenue. A study conducted by Americans for the Arts in 2016 showed that in 2015 the arts in Fulton County supported 19,842 full-time equivalent jobs and generated $490, million in resident household income. In addition, the arts generated $27.9 million in taxes for local governments and $27.7 million for the State government.
How are we doing?
The combined expenditures by the County and City in 2017 was about $7.5M, or $7.40 per resident, about $0.42 less than in 2016. Most of the money allocated by both governments went to non-profit arts organizations, community organizations and individual artists. The City of Atlanta awarded over $1 million under its Contract for Arts Services program, including $650,000 to major organizations like the Atlanta Ballet, $292,000 to small organizations, $16,000 to individual artists, and $38,500 to cultural development organizations. Significant expenditures also went toward the 2017 Atlanta Jazz Festival and the operating of the Chastain Arts Center.
Like the City of Atlanta, Fulton County allocates a large part of its expenditures to arts centers and local non-profit organizations. In 2017, the County awarded over $1.5 million to local organizations through its Contract for Services (CFS) program. Awards ranged from $50,000 for the Center for Puppetry Arts and the Alliance Theater to $2,000 for smaller organizations. The County also spent about $480,000 toward the operating of the Wolf Creek Amphitheater and about $600,000 toward the operating of eight arts and cultural centers.