Cultural impact – Big increase

Culture is big business in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, accounting for nearly $94.7 million of the local economy, a new study says.

That’s up from $55 million two years ago.

The study, conducted by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for the Arts & Science Council, measured the direct economic impact of 46 arts, science and history groups, as well as their indirect impact on businesses such as restaurants, hotels and retail outlets.

Total employment of the 29 performance groups and 26 museums, exhibitors and other nonprofit groups is equivalent to 1.742 full-time jobs.

That’s a 40 percent increase from two years ago.

The combined payroll for the 46 cultural groups totaled $22 million, up 48 percent from two years ago.

That payroll represented 488 full-time employees and 318 part-time employees, plus 8,360 volunteers who were equivalent to 1,489 full-time employees.

More than 2.8 million people attended nearly 52,000 events and activities sponsored by the groups in 1999-2000.

Of that total, more than 510,000 were visitors from outside Mecklenburg County.

Mecklenburg residents attended 3.8 events and activities per-capita.

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