The Bookshelf, The Parlor, The Young Texas Reader, and the Monthly

The Texas Bookshelf is different from the The Texas Parlor, . The Texas Parlor carries "general" bookish information and non-book information and even different Texana news and notes of use to the bibliographically challenged and other nosey folks intersted in historical, literary, and cultural observations. Will's Texana Monthly may carry material from either blog, but extends itself beyond those, especially for longer compilations or treatments. The Monthly, the Bookshelf and the Parlor are all companions. So, is the Young Texas Reader which specialized on books and such things for the youngest to the teenagers.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Economic Impact Study - Gregg Higgins

Economic Impact Study of Arts & Cultural Organizations in North Texas, 2006.

[Survey by Greg Higgins]. [Dallas, North Texas Business for Culture and the Arts/Deloitte & Touche, 2006.] 75 pages, various paginations, paperback, wire-bound. Over 20 charts and graphs. B&W. 8 ½ x 11. With a 13-photo color montage on the cover. Download at

Speaking of education and cultural values, Dallas and Fort Worth area has gotten organized and is clearly including many organizations beyond schools and colleges in their plans. Back around 1988 Raymond D. Nasher and other business leaders of the area determined to effectively improve life by better connecting the business, arts, and cultural leaders. That became the non-profit North Texas Business for Culture and the Arts, now led by CEO Patricia Porter. They wished to bring a clear awareness to the business community that the cultural and arts life of the region made a difference – so they set about talking business to the business leaders. The NTBCA efforts enable business and the C&A to learn of each other and how business can help the C&A because, well, it’s good for business to do so. NTBCA does not raise money, in kind contribution, or volunteers for the C&A organizations from business, but rather helps the two find each other under good conditions. The present survey, only one of NTBCA’s services, makes clear that the C&A improves the local economies.

The present survey has been done for 12 years under the guidance of Greg Higgins ( Deloitte & Touche are the lead sponsors although over a hundred other businesses assist. Presently the NTBCA serves Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, Denton, and Ellis counties. In summary, nearly a billion dollars is generated by the C&A community for the local economies. This amount includes the usual “multipliers” used in such matters. The survey includes responses form C&A organizations in the five counties.

How is a billion dollars possible? Aren’t the C&A affairs just fluff, maybe marginally educational but still bread and pastries for the Coliseum crowd watching the lions maul the Christians and sideshows for the kiddies? In much greater detail (remember the survey is for business folks) Higgins lays it all out. Here we will summarize the 2006 projections. Of the total 828.5 million, $422.7 million is from operational costs, $327.7 million is from indirect audience spending associated with the events, and $78.1 million comes from construction and capital expenditure activity to new and existing facilities. The impact on Dallas alone is $549.7 million, half a billion. Fort Worth gets $241.0 million. Remember this doesn’t include professional sports.

The C&A respondents gave 7,000 performances/exhibits in 2005 to over 23,000 “audience opportunities.” They had 7.9 million admissions, of which 35% were free or reduced-price. Their direct total income was $280 million, balanced by direct personnel and operating costs of $212. All other money flowed back into other parts of the local economies. In support of all this, there were 493,000 volunteer hours expended. (Hmm, that sounds like a ratio: 1 volunteer hour representing $2 of the billion)? So, when you volunteer, you know you are generating money for your community.

The respondents were 28% musical, 16% museums, 13% theater, and a variety of smaller categories. Out of 230 survey sent, 98 were returned, 43%, a very high rate. This included the larger organizations. The approximate population of the area is 5 million, so does that create a per capita ratio: 1 person representing $200 of the billion)? Would that ratio hold true in Woodville, Bonham, Laredo, and Canyon?

But does it affect the job market? The direct spending creates almost 10,000 jobs; the indirect spending creates almost 9,000 jobs, and the construction creates over a 1,000 jobs. And this does not include the regular school and college budgets and personnel; in fact, the survey only includes those tiny portions in the formal educational arena that fall into very narrow definitions.

If you have associates who roll their eyes over the importance of culture and the arts, tell the clods that their life every day is surrounded by activity bringing welcome economic stimulus and opportunity to their neighborhood and, well, even some culture into their life. Greg Higgins says so, and he says so for the North Texas Business for Culture and the Arts, and besides that Deloitte & Touche agrees.

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