Charleston Symphony’s economic impact on its community

Posted on: November 2, 2016

“Arts groups do more than entertain. They educate, too. And they improve a community’s quality of life and bolster economic activity,” writes Adam Parker in Saturday’s (10/30) Post and Courier (Charleston, SC). “Every so often, an arts organization releases information that proves its positive economic impact.… And that’s what the Charleston Symphony Orchestra has done this month. Working with The Citadel School of Business Administration, the CSO produced an economic impact study showing that the nonprofit spends, directly and indirectly, nearly $5 million each year locally, and that its patrons spend almost $2 million more. That’s pretty good for a relatively small organization that operates in a relatively small market, said board member Kevin Garvey.… The symphony’s annual budget was about $3.25 million last season, when the study was put together—this year it’s $3.7 million—but its quantitative impact is larger.… ‘The symphony is so much more than concerts,’ ” said CSO Executive Director Michael Smith. “Around $300,000 was spent last year on education programming alone, which had an impact of $480,000, he said. That’s not just an injection of cash into the local economy, that’s the CSO reaching hearts and minds among the community’s young people.”

Posted November 2, 2016