According to the newly released study by the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, arts and culture have been good for the nation’s economy. And that has been especially true for DC, which led the nation in contributions to GDP.
The report shows the District of Columbia arts and culture industries (primarily performing arts, design and fine arts education) contributed 8.4 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the district in 2015 (the latest data available). DC outpaced New York State which came in with 7.8 percent. The contributions of the states of Virginia and Maryland were 3.5 and 3.0 percent respectively.
According to the report: “Arts and cultural economic activity [for the country] accounted for 4.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), or $763.6 billion, in 2015.”
With the steady growth of professional productions in our regions – the 43 theatre openings we are looking at for the month of April, 2018 have nearly become the new normal – we predict future studies will show our area’s performing arts scene playing an even larger role in contributing to the nation’s economic health.