New study outlines economic impact arts and entertainment hubs

Janice K. Johnson

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Specifically, the art museum, Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square, and Rock Hall were said to generate more than $800 million for the economy combined in 2019.

CLEVELAND — Editor’s note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous story on April 8, 2022.

Though it can sometimes fly under the radar, Cleveland is home to some of the world’s foremost cultural institutions. Recently, four of them teamed up to commissioned a study showcasing their full economic impact on the community.

According to the research firm Tourism Economics, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame combined to generate $822 million for Cuyahoga County’s economy in 2019 fiscal year, the most recent before the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the four locations supported 6,818 local jobs with an associated labor income of roughly $261 million.

Tourism Economics President Adam Sacks said:

“The four institutions in the study are not only the arts and cultural cornerstones of Greater Cleveland, but as the four largest they are an economic engine responsible for driving significant growth and opportunity in the region. With a total financial impact of more than $800 million annually, these organizations exemplify the importance of supporting civic institutions like these to help drive tourism, benefit the larger economy and improve the lives of those in the local community.”

The “independent” examination found that the four welcomed almost 2.6 million guests to their events in 2019, with more than half of those coming from outside of Cuyahoga County. Those attendees also spent $317 million both at those sites and away from them, including at restaurants, retail stores, and hotels.

As for other direct benefits, the four combined to pay $117 million in tax revenue, including $64 million in state and local taxes. Organization leaders also pointed to their efforts in the community, such as reduced admission for local residents and various education programs for children and others.

You can read a summary of the report below, as well as statements from the heads of the art museum, orchestra, Playhouse Square, and Rock Hall:


Editor’s note: Video in the player above was originally published in an unrelated story on April 20, 2022.

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