Pope: Arts and culture pump $2 million into Hamblen County economy

Ever wonder how they might have deduced (recorded and justified) this information… so have we….

Pope: Arts and culture pump $2 million into Hamblen County economy

Anne Pope, executive director of the Tennessee Arts Commission

The nonprofit arts and culture industry pumps in at least $2 million annually in revenue to Hamblen County with $1.3 million coming from audiences and $760,000 being spent by local nonprofits, according to a state report on arts economic impact.

In Hamblen County, 53 percent of the audience spending comes from nonlocal audience members visiting the community, the report stated.

“This is one of the highest nonlocal impacts I’ve seen,” said Anne Pope, executive director of the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Pope stopped in Morristown Monday morning to speak with the Hamblen County Commission at Prater Hall of the Rose Center to give a report on the economic impact of the arts within the state and within smaller communities.

She told the commission that a few years ago, the Tennessee Arts Commission conducted the largest study ever of economic impact of art on communities. Each year, the arts commission spends hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants for arts projects across Tennessee.

Pope said the arts commission has spent more than $250,000 in grants within Hamblen County.

The study looked at the year 2015 and during that year there was more than $1 billion in economic impact in Tennessee, more than $200 million of impact in East Tennessee and $2 million in Hamblen County, the report states.

Pope said locally, in Hamblen County, the impact was felt through six different nonprofit agencies: Crossroads Downtown Partnership Inc., Encore Theatrical Company, Morristown Art Association, Rose Center and Council for the Arts, the Theatre Guild and Walters State Community College.

In 2015, Pope said that 41,472 attendees came to Hamblen County for arts events and spent an average of $30.37 per person. Nonresidents spent $32.08 per person and residents spent $28.44 per person, the report says.

Okay attendance can be counted. Individual spending, much more difficult to account for and discerning between residents and non resident would be similar to counting ghosts. So how the hell do they know this. Well they don’t, they are assuming, and they use your tax dollars to justify additional spending based on these calculations.

She said she has heard how many employers are saying there is a lack of “soft skills” with potential employees.

“This can help build those soft skills,” she said.

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