In Tuesday’s (11/16) Los Angeles Times, Mike Boehm writes, “Orange County arts aficionados enjoyed lower ticket prices in 2008-09, but the increased attendance wasn’t enough to prevent a drop in box office revenue, a Chapman University study released Monday shows. For 24 nonprofit arts organizations surveyed both in 2005 and 2009, the average price dropped 15.5%, from $29.10 to $24.60, the study found. Paid admissions grew 11.6%, reaching 1.9 million. But the combined box office returns of the 24 arts groups were down almost 6% from mid-decade, from $49.7 million to $46.8 million.
Nevertheless, jobs in the nonprofit arts sector held up better from 2005 to 2009 than in the overall local economy, Chapman economists determined. … Donations were clearly the bulwark that made jobs growth in the arts possible; contributions increased more than 25% for the 24 groups, from $45.8 million to $57.5 million. … The 26 groups in the survey pumped $137.4 million into the local economy; factoring in multiplier effects that reflect what arts audiences spend on transportation, meals and the like, and what arts employees spend from their salaries, Chapman economists estimated the nonprofit arts scene’s economic impact at $484 million.”

Posted November 18, 2010