A new economic impact study was released this morning by Experience Grand Rapids, the region’s convention and visitors bureau. The study, conducted by the Anderson Economic Group, reveals that the 2011 ArtPrize event added $15.4 million to the Grand Rapids/Kent County economy, attracted more than 320,000 visitors and created more than 200 new jobs during its 19 days.

From Scott Watkins, with AEG:

“The study provides a comprehensive assessment of event attendance, visitor spending, local spending by the ArtPrize organization, and the economic impacts that accrue beyond the initial expenditures of visitors and the host organization. It also accounts for economic substitution. The analysis illustrates the new economic activity attributable to ArtPrize and does not double count spending in the area that would have otherwise occurred if the event was not held.”

The full report can be found here. Read the whole thing.

ArtPrize is supportive of this research study. From our perspective, communities thrive when people are given the flexibility and encouragement to be creative and a population is provided with the freedom to voice their opinions, and to just plain have fun. The Anderson study shows that small experiments like ArtPrize can grow to have significant impact, and we are pleased that our region is thriving as a result.

We hope 2012 will be an even bigger year for ArtPrize, with the tweaks we announced earlier this month:

  • self-sustainability
  • enabling the “credible mass” within the “critical mass”
  • empowered professional voices

ArtPrize thanks everyone for a successful 2011, and we look forward to seeing you in the new year!

By Brian Burch on