Glenwood eyes value of the arts |

Glenwood eyes value of the arts

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Stina Sieg/Post IndependentWhat's the value of the arts and cultural nonprofits to Glenwood Springs? A survey at Friday's performance of "Disney High School Musical" will be the start of an attempt to gauge just that. The Defiance Community Players' production, by the way, includes cast members, from left, Rebecca Palmer, Stephanie Wilson, Taylor Gilman and Zack Loter.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” What’s art worth anyway?

A Theater Ad Hoc Committee has commissioned a study to evaluate the economic impact of cultural and arts nonprofits in Glenwood Springs.

“It’s really more or less to make us all more aware of how much the arts are playing a role in this community,” said Judy O’Donnell, who chairs the theater committee and has worked with various arts and nonprofit organizations.

The study will begin Friday night with surveys at the “Disney High School Musical” performance at Glenwood Springs High School. The study is expected to last around six months to a year. Surveys of audiences at events will attempt to determine the economic impact of event-related spending like going out to dinner or celebrating after a performance.

Surveys of arts and cultural organizations putting on events will evaluate the economic impacts those groups have. O’Donnell said people don’t realize how much those types of organizations spend and how many people they employ.

The Theater Ad Hoc Committee spent about $4,500 for Americans for the Arts to help conduct the study and data analysis, O’Donnell said. The theater committee receives funding from the city.

O’Donnell added that there’s not a funding problem for arts and cultural groups, but the city has been looking into building a theater for decades. The study could help promote the theater, arts and cultural groups by demonstrating the benefits of spending on those things.

“We need to think about how we’re going to fund it in the long range and we need to justify our expenditures,” she said. “We want to show that this is a good place to put your money. … It’s a good investment for locals and tourists alike.”

O’Donnell said that according to the Americans for the Arts, the U.S. nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.2 billion in economic activity. Economic data from Americans for the Arts is used by the Congressional Arts Caucus and elected officials and business leaders need strong data to support spending for community cultural programs and buildings, she added.

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