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April 20, 2017

Arts and culture inject $765M into Maine's economy

Courtesy / Portland Museum of Art
Courtesy / Portland Museum of Art
A newly released federal analysis indicates that arts and cultural organizations employed 16,000 people and contributed $764.9 million in workers' income to Maine's economy in 2014. Among them is the Portland Museum of Art, which had 13,856 visitors in February, the highest February on record since 2009.

Statistics released Wednesday by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis indicate that arts and cultural organizations employed 16,000 people and contributed $764.9 million in workers' income to Maine's economy in 2014.

The Portland Press Herald reported that roughly $157 million of the total went to people working in the core arts and cultural institutions (e.g., museum staff, actors, dancers, performing arts company staffers) and about $562 million was for people in industries supporting those businesses.

Nationally, arts and culture businesses grew for the third straight year in 2014, the most recent year for which data was available — with economic activity increasing 1.9% when adjusted for inflation. It accounted for 4.2% of the gross domestic product that year, or $729.6 billion, the newspaper reported.

"That number, nearly $800 million for employment, really jumped out at me," Julie Richard, executive director of the Maine Arts Commission, told the newspaper. "I think it's something we should be proud of."

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