This is a report conducted by Buckeye Hills Regional Council, a council of governments dedicated to improving the lives of residents in Southeast Ohio.


Southeast Ohio’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $24,677,808 in economic activity in 2022, according to the newly released Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), an economic and social impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts and Buckeye Hills Regional Council, with support from the Ohio Arts Council and U.S. Economic Development Administration. That economic activity–$12,209,889 in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and $12,467,919 in event-related spending by their audiences supported 452 jobs and generated $3,417,338 in local, state, and federal government revenue. This spending by arts and culture audiences generates valuable commerce for local merchants.

Building on its 30-year legacy as the largest and most inclusive study of its kind, AEP6 uses a rigorous methodology to document the economic and social contributions of the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry. The study demonstrates, locally as well as nationally, the value of arts and culture as economic drivers of vibrant communities.

Southeast Ohio communities have made considerable investments in recent years to renovate historic theatres and sustain their local museums and cultural institutions. The Arts & Economic Prosperity Study shows that these investments are providing a substantial annual return for these communities and contributing to the rich cultural fabric of the state’s Appalachian region.

Nationally, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) study reveals that America’s nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $151.7 billion industry—one that supports 2.6 million jobs and generates $29.1 billion in government revenue.

Buckeye Hills Regional Council worked with 45 arts and culture organizations that serve audiences across Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry, and Washington counties to gather data and audience surveys and economic data for the study.

Key findings from the Southeast Ohio AEP6 study include:

  • Southeast Ohio’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $12,467,919 in event-related spending by its audiences.

  • The typical attendee spends $35.64 per person per event, not including the cost of admission.

  • 36.2% of arts and culture attendees were from outside the county in which the activity took place. They spent an average of $48.01, resulting in vital income for local merchants.

  • 91.3% of respondents agreed that the activity or venue they attended was “a source of neighborhood pride for the community.”

  • 88.6% said they would “feel a sense of loss if that activity or venue was no longer available.”

AEP6 demonstrates the significant economic and social benefits that arts and culture bring to their communities, states, and the nation. To amplify the study results and raise awareness of these widespread benefits with public and private-sector leaders, seventeen national organizations partnered with Americans for the Arts on AEP6:

    • Actors’ Equity Association

    • African Diaspora Consortium

    • Arts & Planning Division (American Planning Association)

    • Black Legislative Leaders Network

    • Department for Professional Employees

    • AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations)

    • Destinations International


    • International City/County Management Association

    • Independent Sector

    • National Association of Counties

    • National Conference of State Legislatures

    • National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations

    • National Independent Venue Association

    • National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women

    • Race Forward

    • Recording Industry Association of America

    • The Conference Board

    • U.S. Conference of Mayors