Spike in arts-goers brings economic boom

PHOENIX - The Phoenix arts scene now brings more than $400 million into the economy, according to a newly released study.

"There's something for everyone," said Dwight Walth, Director of Cultural Facility and Grant Services for the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture.  

"The energy downtown, the density downtown, all of that is great for the arts and cultural community to feed off of," he said.   

The study, conducted every five years, found seven million people attended an arts or cultural event. The economic impact totaled nearly $402 million, a $100-million increase. On average, attendees spent almost $35 each on things beyond admission -- think dinner, drinks or new clothes.  

Phoenix awards approximately $760,000 in grants each year to non-profit arts and cultural organizations. Walth said every dollar the city spends leads to a $26 return on investment.  

"The symphony, the opera, the ballet -- we're one of a few cities that can claim to have sort of that triple crown," he said.  

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