The arts mean business in

Washington County, Oregon

Arts organizations and audiences in Washington County, Oregon generate more than $29 million a year in economic activity. That includes $16.6 million in direct spending by nonprofit arts organizations, and $13.1 million in spending by arts audiences who attend events.

Arts audiences on average spend $29.49 per person, per event outside the cost of admission. That could include dinner and drinks before an event, overnight lodging, childcare, transportation, and more.

More than 400,000 people attended arts and culture events in Washington County in 2022. More than 25% of those attendees were nonresidents, coming from outside Washington County.

The local arts industry supports more than 533 full-time jobs.

Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 national economic impact study is the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in the United States.

The study – released in October 2023 – was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, in partnership with Tualatin Valley Creates, an arts service organization in Washington County, Oregon.

AEP6 provides evidence that the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in Washington County—one that generates more than $29 million in total economic activity. This spending—$16.6 million by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and an additional $13.1 million in event-related spending by their audiences—supports 942 full-time equivalent jobs, generates $18.8 million in household income to local residents, and delivers $1.4 million in local and state government revenue.

This economic impact study sends a strong signal that when we support the arts, we not only enhance our quality of life, but we also invest in Washington County’s economic well-being.

The Arts & Economic Prosperity Series is a substantial research undertaking organized by Americans for the Arts (AFTA). The AEP Series was first started in 1994 and is conducted roughly every 5 years to continuously capture the key role nonprofit arts and culture organizations and events play in the United States economy.

The Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) is the sixth national economic impact study of America’s nonprofit arts and cultural industry. It documents the economic contributions of the arts in over 250 diverse communities and regions across the country, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Previous partners have included local arts agencies, community foundations, economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, performing arts centers, and more. Even in the wake of COVID-19 and the resulting economic recession, the arts continue to provide a significant economic boost throughout America’s local communities thereby creating a thriving ecosystem for all. The arts draw people out of their homes and back into community life—spending time with each other and spending their money with local merchants.

To learn more about AFTA visit

Regional Impact

To measure the impact of spending by cultural audiences in the Greater Portland Area, data was collected from event attendees during the AEP6 study window, March 2022-May 2023. Researchers used an audience-intercept methodology wherein patrons were asked to complete a short survey about their event-related spending (from home to the event and home again). Event-related spending by these attendees totaled $456.5 million in the Greater Portland Area during fiscal year 2022, excluding the cost of event admission.

This direct quantitative data shows conclusively that, locally as well as nationally, the arts mean business!

Want to know the details?

Connect with TVC’s Executive Director, Raziah Roushan at to request a presentation on the AEP6 Report specific to Washington County, OR.

For a Multnomah County AEP6 Presentation, contact Mario Mesquita, the Manager of Advocacy & Engagement at Regional Arts & Culture Council, at

For a Clackamas County AEP6 Presentation, contact Dianne Alves, the Executive Director of Clackamas County Art Alliance, at