Maine arts and cultural organizations and their audiences spent more than $150 million in the 2015 fiscal year — and supported the equivalent of almost 4,200 jobs, according to a new study from the national group Americans for the Arts.
In Waterville, one of five Maine communities highlighted in the report, total spending by the nonprofit arts and culture industry was almost $6.3 million.
Shannon Haines, president and CEO of Waterville Creates, said information from the report shows the need to advocate for more investment in arts and cultural marketing and promotion in the city. She said, while Waterville is above the median in terms of organizational investment, the community is a bit below the median when it comes to how much is being spent by visitors.
"So what I would glean from that is that we need to do a better job of making the world aware of the organizational strengths that we have here and growing the audience and bringing more people here," Haines said.
The report also finds spending by nonprofit arts organizations and audiences statewide created revenue for state and local government that totaled more than $12 million.