The Importance of Arts in Our Community



February 16, 2024



arts1Why are the arts an important aspect of the community?

Sedona’s natural beauty is an inspiration not only to those fulfilling their bucket list of places to visit, but also to the many artists and photographers who want to capture its beauty and share their art with the world.

For a small community of 10,000 residents, our artist population is immense. Sedona has attracted world-renowned artists who live and work here, displaying their art in our multitude of galleries as well as their private studios.

The importance of art runs deep; however, funding of art seems to be insignificant in comparison.

Recently, the Sedona Arts Center participated in a groundbreaking study to reveal the economic and social impact of nonprofit arts and culture in Sedona.

The results were outstanding!

Sedona’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $13,482,061 in economic activity in 2022. The study, Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), was conducted by Amercians for the Arts.

Nationally, the AEP6 study reveals that America’s nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $152 billion industry—one that supports 2.6 million jobs and generates $29 billion in government revenue.

Spending by arts and culture audiences generates valuable commerce for local merchants, a value-add that few other industries can compete with.

Visitors spent an average of $159.91, while locals spent $41.55 compared to $29.77 nationally — a vital income for local merchants. 40% of arts and culture attendees were from outside of Sedona, while 60% were locals.

Julie Richard, CEO of the Sedona Arts Center stated, “I knew our visitor numbers would be good, but I was blown away that our cultural tourists spend a whopping $159.91 on average per visit compared to the national average of $60.57.  That is economic impact!

Richard also noted that this is the first time that Sedona has participated in a national study and provides a baseline for us moving forward.

“We need additional funding to secure additional staff and improve our facilities. Sedona is a cultural powerhouse and it’s past the time for a renewed investment to take us all to the next level.  We can’t continue to operate at the same funding levels we saw ten years ago,” she said.

Additionally, event-related spending by arts and culture audiences totaled $7.6 million. Audiences demonstrate appreciation for the impact of arts and culture.

85% said they would “feel a sense of loss if that activity or venue was no longer available.” 88% mentioned that “This activity or venue is inspiring a sense of pride in this neighborhood or community,” and 82% felt that “My attendance is my way of ensuring that this activity or venue is preserved for future generations.”

Several Sedona arts and culture organizations participated in the AEP6 survey.

Arts and culture are important to our community’s quality of life. We must look to organizations such as the Arizona Commission on the Arts for their support by increased funding of art programs and artists throughout our state and Sedona.

Michelle Conway Kostecki, President/CEO

Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau