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Arts bounce back

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Nonprofit arts groups have made a full economic recovery from their post-9/11 decline in patronage, a new national report says.

Five years after 9/11 sent tourism revenues and both private and governmental funding into a downward spiral, the nonprofit arts and culture industry now is reporting growth across the board.

Spending, employment, and government revenues are all up, according to the study by lobbying and research group Americans for the Arts, which worked with Georgia Tech economists to analyze data from 6,080 arts groups and 94,478 arts patrons nationwide.

The survey reports $166.2 billion in annual spending by nonprofit arts and culture groups and their patrons, up 24 percent in five years.

Employment among arts groups is on the rise as well, the study says, with a current full-time payroll of 5.7 million people, up from 4.85 million in 2002.

The newly robust arts sector is primed to make substantial economic contributions to the surrounding community, the report says.

Excluding the price of admissions, arts events generate average related spending of $27.79 per person at restaurants, parking garages and hotels, while direct expenditures on the arts generate an average of about $29.6 billion in government tax revenues annually.

In stark contrast, government support for the arts totals not quite $4 billion a year.

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