Missouri Arts Advocacy Week: February 1-5, 2021

Arts Advocy

What used to be called “Citizens Day for the Arts at the Legislature” will look different in 2021. But, hey, most things have changed in recent months. To keep arts advocates healthy and safe, we will not gather at the Capitol in February, as we have for more than 35 years. Instead, we will take our message directly to legislators via virtual meetings, coordinated conference calls, and organized print and social media campaigns. We’re getting creative and will use 2021 to establish and renew relationships with elected officials. And our message will be more urgent than ever before: Support the arts in Missouri! A vibrant creative economy is vital and benefits all Missourians – it is a key component to revitalizing the state’s economy. We need your help to amplify the collective voice of Missouri’s arts industry so that it is both loud and strong.

Global Impact of the Arts on America’s Economy:

In addition to unifying our communities, improving academic performance, driving tourism, sparking creativity and innovation, the arts strengthen our economy. (1)

  • The US Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the arts and culture sector is a $877.8 billion industry representing 4.5% of the nation’s GDP. (2)
  • The non-profit arts industry alone generates $166.3 billion in economic activity – activity that brings in $27.5 billion in government revenue. (3) 
  • A 2017 analysis by Americans for the Arts and Dun & Bradstreet indicates that there are 673,656 U.S. businesses involved in the creation or distribution of the arts and employ 3.48 million workers.  That’s equivalent to 4.01% of all businesses and 2.04% of all employees across America. (4)

Arts Impact on Missouri: The arts transform lives, enrich communities, and significantly impact Missouri’s economy as well. 

In FY2020, the Missouri Arts Council (MAC) received $4.8 million in funding from the Missouri Legislature. The funds came from $40 million dollars collected through the Non-Resident Athletes and Entertainers income tax, at tax on athletes and performers coming to Missouri. Not a tax on local residents.

In turn, the Missouri Arts Council used this arts funding to provide financial support to 473 organizations in 112 Missouri communities. (6) Missouri Arts Council funded organizations:

  • Provided 5,430 full and part-time jobs
  • Hired 33,321 artists
  • Paid $149 million in salaries, generating $4.5 million state tax revenues
  • Generated $203 million in revenue for organizations
  • Reached more than 4 million people through events and activities, including 720,000 children

Overall, the arts in Missouri generate $1.039 billion dollars in economic activity as a result of arts events. (5)

The Springfield Regional Arts Council (SRAC) serves 27 counties across southwest Missouri with support from the Missouri Arts Council.  In FY2020, the SRAC:

  • Provided $37,000 to 10 regional arts and cultural organizations. A total of $168,042 has been award since 2013.
  • 18,892 people used The Creamery Arts Center, home to the SRAC and eight other arts organizations.
  • 1,536 children and youth participated in SRAC’s arts education programs.
  • 442 artists were involved in programming and exhibitions.

For all these reasons, the Arts in Missouri deserve our continued legislative support. When the arts thrive, livelihoods and lives are transformed and communities across Missouri are enriched!




Arts in the Time of COVID-19

Nationally, financial losses to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations are an estimated $14.8 billion, to date. 99% of producing and presenting organizations have cancelled events across the country. (7) These cancellations have meant:

  • A loss of 483 million admissions and $15.3 billion in audience spending at local businesses (e.g., restaurants, lodging, retail, parking).
  • The total economic impact of organizational and audience-spending losses is $5.1 billion in lost government revenue and 875,000 jobs no longer being supported.


In Springfield, the collective revenue loss to arts organizations is $1,110,000 and growing. The anticipated loss by spring 2020, is $2,500,000.

  • Arts organizations were among the first to shut down in March 2020 and will be among the last to reopen when it is safe to do so.
  • Even with limited reopening in the fall, capacities have been limited to a quarter or a third of the typical audience due to physical distancing requirements. Revenue from ticket sales is a critical part of the funding mechanism.
  • Numerous galas and fundraising events have been cancelled, limiting or entirely eliminating another critical source of funding.
  • Live streaming has helped to connect to audiences, but it has not replaced the revenue lost from in-person audiences. Accessing rights to live stream can also be a limiting factor.
  • The cost of outfitting spaces for live streaming, security supplies and equipment to keep patrons and staff safe are all large, unexpected expenses. Most arts organization had not budgeted for these now-necessary costs.



  1. 10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2020, https://blog.americansforthearts.org/2020/03/23/10-reasons-to-support-the-arts-in-2020
  2. Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account, U.S. and States 2017 https://www.bea.gov/data/special-topics/arts-and-culture
  3. Arts & Economic Prosperity Study 5 Report, https://www.americansforthearts.org/by-program/reports-and-data/research-studies-publications/arts-economic-prosperity-5
  4. Americans for the Arts Reports 673,656 Businesses Involved in Creation or Distribution of the Arts in America; Employ 3.48 Million, https://www.americansforthearts.org/news-room/press-releases/americans-for-the-arts-reports-673656-businesses-involved-in-creation-or-distribution-of-the-arts-in
  5. Economic Impact of the Arts in Missouri, https://www.missouriartscouncil.org/most-recent-missouri-data/
  6. Facts provided by the Missouri Arts Council, www.missouriartscounci.org
  7. The Economic Impact of Coronavirus on the Arts and Culture Sector, https://www.americansforthearts.org/by-topic/disaster-preparedness/the-economic-impact-of-coronavirus-on-the-arts-and-culture-sector


Who Should I Contact?


Legislative List

Local Delegation – Springfield