By Carol White, Associate Director of Operations –
On Monday, September 11, the Knoxville Arts & Culture Alliance in partnership with the Tennessee Arts Commission hosted a reception at the Knoxville Museum of Art in conjunction with the Commission’s fall quarterly meeting that was held Tuesday, September 12 at the Laurel Theater, home of Jubilee Community Arts.
During the reception, Liza Zenni, executive director of the Alliance, announced the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) results for the Greater Knoxville Region, which included Knox, Blount and Anderson counties. Both Madeline Rogero, mayor of Knoxville and Tim Burchett, mayor of Knox County issued proclamations announcing their support for AEP5 and its findings.
The proclamations stated that the AEP5 study found that the nonprofit arts industry in the Greater Knoxville Region generates $145.9 million annually in economic activity and supports 5,503 jobs—from large urban to small rural communities, and that the nonprofit arts industry annually returns $18.6 million in local and state government revenue.
“Community leaders should no longer be surprised when outside experts, number crunchers and data collectors tell them that 9% of Greater Knoxville’s population is employed in an arts-related job,” said Zenni.
The proclamations state that the City of Knoxville and Knox County support the findings of the AEP5 study and urge all local, state, and federal officials to not only recognize the economic and social value of the nonprofit arts, but to also invest in nonprofit arts organizations directly, through their local and state arts agencies, and the National Endowment for the Arts as a catalyst to generate economic impact, stimulate business development, spur urban renewal, attract tourists and area residents to community activities, and to improve the overall quality of life in America’s cities.
The reception was well attended by arts organizations, artists and local and state officials. Additional presenters included Ritche Bowden, Chair of the Commission and Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Commission.