In Tuesday’s (3/24) Grand Rapids Press, Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk writes, “Today, DeVos Performance Hall hosts 160 performances per year, with audiences averaging 1,000 people per show. The emotional impact of the concerts, plays, musicals, operas and ballets held there may be priceless, but the financial impact is very real, according to Peter Kjome, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Symphony. … Speaking Monday before the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, Kjome said the shows in DeVos Hall generate more than $60 in spending per person. The average ticket price is $35, but typical visitors spend an additional $27 or more on items such as baby-sitting, transportation, parking, souvenirs and dinner. ‘This is bringing in more than $10 million to downtown Grand Rapids every year,’ Kjome said. … ‘The arts are a very important part of what makes a community a good place to live, to work and to play,’ said Economic Club Chairman David Van Andel, chairman and CEO of Van Andel Institute, in opening remarks. ‘Unfortunately, they’re always one of the first things on the chopping block.’ But studies show a thriving arts and cultural community helps attract new economic development, including new employees.”
Posted March 25, 2009