City Reports Preliminary Results of Americans for the Arts (AFTA) Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 Study: $70.1 Million in Economic Impact

January 11, 2024

The City of Portsmouth and the Portsmouth Arts & Nonprofits Committee joined the national Americans for the Arts (AFTA) Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) survey between December 2022 and April 2023 and is planning two workshops to share the results in detail. AFTA Vice President of Research Randy Cohen and local arts and business leaders presents The Arts Mean Business Breakfast on January 11 and Data For Impact Workshop on January 12.

Go to the full AEP6 Report.

In the meantime, the Arts & Nonprofits Committee has prepared a high-level report of the findings, most significantly, that Greater Portsmouth arts and culture generated $70.2 million in total economic activity during 2022 — $29.1 million by arts and culture organizations and an additional $41.1 million in event-related spending by their audiences. This local spending supports 1,250 jobs, generates $50.1 million in household income for residents, and delivers $13.1 million in tax revenues to local, state, and federal governments.

The Arts & Economic Prosperity study is conducted approximately every five years by national research and advocacy organization, Americans for the Arts. The study surveys audience members, asking how much they spend on arts and cultural event participation in addition to ticket or admission costs, such as restaurants, hotels, and shopping. The survey also asks the arts and culture nonprofits what they spend on wages, services, and materials. Twenty-nine local nonprofit organizations took part in the AEP6 study, and nearly 1,000 audience members were surveyed between May 2022 and June 2023.

In announcing the preliminary findings, Portsmouth Arts & Nonprofits Committee Co-Chair Barbara Massar said, “The 2015 AFTA Arts and Economic Prosperity Study reported an economic impact of $58 million, comparable to cities six times our size. In 2022, despite the devastating effect of the pandemic on local cultural and performing arts nonprofits, Portsmouth experienced a significant increase over the 2015 numbers. This demonstrates how critical the arts and culture sector is to our economy, and reinforces the importance of the new Arts & Culture Commission and Cultural Plan.”

Please follow the links to register for either event, both of which are free and open to the public:

Arts Means Business Breakfast Registration

Come learn  more about how nonprofit arts and culture directly impacts our restaurants, hotels, retailers and more. 

Hosted by: The City of Portsmouth and The Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth

When: January 11, 2023, 8:00 am-9:30 am light breakfast, presentation, panelists, and Q & A 

Where: Seacoast Repertory Theater, 125 Bow Street, Portsmouth, NH


Data For Impact Workshop Registration

An informative session discussing how nonprofits can leverage the data to garner funding, engage greater audience numbers, and increase community engagement.  

Hosted by: The City of Portsmouth 

When: January 12, 2023, 8:30 am- 9:45 am, light breakfast, presentation

Where: 3S Artspace, 319 Vaughan Street, Portsmouth, NH 

This event is for nonprofit staff, boards, and volunteers

Memorial Bridge