Art Sector Economic Impact Study Reveals Large Numbers in Morrison County
It all started with a goal.
“I wanted to look for some way to be able to gather those numbers,” said Mary Warner, Morrison County Historical Society Executive Director.
And then, it was down to finding the right organization to get the job done, and in this case, the numbers gathered.
“We partnered with a bunch of the arts and history organizations in Morrison County to put the study together as part of a statewide effort to get hard data about the non-profit arts and culture center in Minnesota,” said Sheila Smith, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts Executive Director.
The study found that the total economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture sector is $4.7 million annually.
“Here we are in Morrison County, and I don’t think we always think of ourselves as heavy in arts and culture,” Warner said.
To the surprise of many, Morrison County creative workers average over $18 an hour, which is nearly $3 above the average worker wage.
“We really do have support right under our noses, we just don’t think we are always aware of that,” said Jill Moore, Great River Arts Executive Director.
But with a new-found support for the arts and history sectors, Morrison County is off and running with the results.
“I’m really encouraged after hearing all of the positive impact that we are having,” Moore said.
That positive impact reaches residents within the region and beyond.
“They were surprised to see so many nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in one county serving nearly a quarter of a million people,” Smith said. “It’s really astonishing and that is bringing a lot of dollars into the county that wouldn’t be here otherwise.”
This is the first study of its kind for Morrison County, but most likely won’t be the last.
“I think it will help with the economic development authority thinking about the spectrum of things that a county needs to be a vibrant and attractive place for workers,” Smith said.
Now, they have proof that this small community has a large impact.
To see all the data for Morrison County and others around the state, click here.