Elsewhere on Crosscut.com you'll get some chilly Elliott Bay water thrown on the whole notion of economic-impact studies, in particular one released this week about how the arts contribute to local economies. But here in Portland, some of us sheepishly confess that we like these studies. They make it harder for politicians to cut arts funding. And then there's an admittedly prurient interest in knowing anything about other people's finances. The study this week by Americans for the Arts found that the arts in metro Seattle generate $330 million of economic activity a year. Well, if that's a bunch of hooey, Portland's hooey is every bit as impressive, maybe more so considering it's a smaller place: $318 million a year changes hands in Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties courtesy of paintings, performances, and other pastimes. And that doesn't include tickets, money spent on dress and painful shoes, bohemian-black separates, or parking citations. Here's how the Portland metro area penciled out:
- $167 million comes in the form of employee wages paid out to more than 10,000 arts-related jobs, along with services and supplies purchased for various events.
- $151 million flows in for hotel, restaurant, parking, and other businesses used by patrons.