Arts and culture in the City of Newark is thriving. That’s according to Americans for the Arts, which conducted the latest Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) study – the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry. Astoundingly, Newark’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $178,328,298 in annual economic activity, supports 4,963 full-time equivalent jobs and creates an additional $15,568,000 in local and state government revenues.
Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Newark native and Tony Award-winning artist Savion Glover, and Newark Arts Executive Director Jeremy Johnson discussed the study and importance of the city’s arts and culture industry to strengthen Newark’s prosperity at a press conference in City Hall Tuesday.
“Communities that embrace arts and cultural education, activities and events are far richer than those who do not. Newark is a ‘City of the Arts,’ where access to spoken word events, musical and dance performances, film, art exhibits, theater offerings, museums and libraries add exponentially to our economic health. The impact of our commitment to the arts is felt in our communities, our businesses, our institutions, and our households and contributes to the revitalization that our City is experiencing. This report acknowledges the significance of our investment in this vital sector of Newark,” said Baraka.
In addition, 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the state’s foremost such facility, and the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Prudential Center, which has become the nation’s seventh busiest arena, hosting such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, and Celine Dion. Glover serves as NJPAC’s Dance Advisor.
“Newark has always been home, but also, it has always been an absolute cultural gem and the birthplace of so many talented artists and brilliant young people. So I’m not surprised to see the incredible impact that the arts have on Newark as a whole and where we’re going as a city,” said Mr. Glover.
“The importance of this study cannot be overstated,” said Mr. Johnson. “It provides direct evidence that the arts and culture industry has a meaningful and significant impact on the economic vitality and vibrancy of our city. At Newark Arts we’ve long believed that arts and culture mean business, and now we have the data to back it up.