Sunday, December 5, 2021

Denver’s $1.5 billion loss to arts and culture threatens future development, CBCA study finds

In addition to eroding a decade of growth in Denver’s arts scene, with losses of $1.5 billion in 2020 compared to 2019, last year’s venue closures and stay-at-home orders dented the metro area’s creative economy for years. can put you in danger. Come.

That’s one of a new report compiled by the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, which found that key metrics for financial health in Denver arts and culture fell by double-digit percentage points in most categories — some by nearly 50%. .

Metro Denver Culture’s 2021 Economic Activity Study, usually released every two years, complies with self-reported data from nearly 300 members of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District for 2019 and 2020. SCFD is a seven-county metro area program that injects . Nearly $60 million annually in cultural nonprofits, thanks to a voter-approved sales tax.

CBCA Executive Director Kristin Crampton Day said, “(The study) illustrates years of record-breaking cultural growth, reaching all-time highs in 2019, and vice versa in 2020, how a community is rigid and disruptive.” responds to circumstances.” in a press statement.

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Overall economic activity, for example, was a strong $2.3 billion for the arts and culture sector in 2019, representing a 17% increase compared to the 2017 figures (the previous year was studied). That fell by nearly a billion dollars to $1.5 billion in 2020, bringing Denver’s art scene back to its 2010 size.

Other startling figures include a 49% drop in the economic impact from arts spending; 28% reduction in jobs from 2019; 49% drop in attendance; and a 49% reduction in educational outreach programs for students and schools.

Meredith Badler, deputy director of the CBCA, told The Denver Post: “As culture lovers and attendees we all felt what the pandemic did to the arts, but I really hope looking at the hard numbers will know that. How devastating it was for the organisations.” on Wednesday.

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Dancers with Danza Matachina Guadalupaa perform at Hamilton Martin Plaza outside the Denver Art Museum for Dia del Nio on April 29, 2018 in Denver. Last year’s economic damage wiped out a decade of growth in the metro area’s creative economy.

As Badler noted, pandemic-era studies uncovering deep wounds in the art world are certainly not new. But it’s easy to draw a line between a metro-area’s cultural presence, spending, jobs and neighborhood health when the ripple effect can be seen from above, Badler said. Without those waves, growth is unlikely.

“I’m sad that I didn’t get to see any live theater last year, and our study shows that because of that, I didn’t pay for parking at DCPA, or dinner in Steuben before a show in Arvada. center,” she said, citing a nearly 50% drop in cultural attendance – from 15 million people in 2019, to 8 million in 2020.

The only increase for 2020 was in CBCA philanthropy and public giving, which grew 5% overall last year compared to 2019. It was one of the only bright spots, as local, state, and federal grants worked to keep nonprofits aware. Bleeding revenue and staff members.

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