Report Released by the Clark Demonstrates its Economic Impact on the Region

For Immediate Release

October 05, 2005

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute today presented the results of a study commissioned from the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis at the University of Connecticut that highlights the Clark’s major economic contribution to the surrounding region.

By releasing the report at this time, the Clark is making its data available in support of ongoing regional efforts to quantify and gain support for the value of the arts in terms of economic generation and cultural benefit. These regional initiatives include the joint efforts of The Berkshire Economic Development Corporation, Berkshire Visitors Bureau, Berkshire Chamber of Commerce and other organizations to develop a Strategic Plan for the growth of the Creative Economy of the Berkshires.

The CCEA report, commissioned in 2004, used fiscal year 2003 data to quantify the Clark’s economic impact in an eight-county region. This region, centered in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, includes Albany, Columbia, and Rensselaer counties in New York, Bennington County in Vermont, and Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties in Massachusetts.

Founded in 1955, the Clark has an annual operating budget of nearly $11 million, and it employs more than 80 full-time employees with a payroll of close to $4 million. With more than 175,000-200,000 visitors on average every year it regularly ranks as the largest year-round tourist attraction in the Berkshires. A recent survey indicated that 43 percent of its visitors come to the Berkshires specifically for the Clark thus stimulating collective visitorship in the region.

The report showed:

  • $20.3 million spent in the region by visitors to the Clark
  • $17.2 million in annual additions to the personal income of the region
  • $18.3 million in additions to the total economic output of the economy of the region
  • 380 full-time equivalent jobs stimulated throughout the region by the Clark

Community-oriented arts institutions with world recognized collections and programs like the Clark are invaluable to their communities and regions. Numerous studies show that they are central to the quality of life and critical to the attraction and retention of professionals and businesses. Research by Richard Florida of Carnegie-Mellon University demonstrates the value of creative workers, nourished by cultural institutions, to vibrant locations. A recent survey reports that a remarkable 99 percent of chief executive officers cite the availability of cultural activities in an area as a major consideration when choosing a new location.

As an art museum with international impact, the Clark plays a major part in the cultural fabric of the Berkshires and is committed to the further economic growth of the region. The Clark collaborates regularly with various cultural partners on programming and strategic initiatives in the Berkshires including: the Berkshire Museum, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Hancock Shaker Village, Jacob’s Pillow, MASS MoCA, Norman Rockwell Museum, Tanglewood Music Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williams College and others. Cultural tourism is of special significance, as this type of tourist stays longer and spends more than other visitor type.

About the CCEA

The Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis (CCEA) was established in 1992 and is located at the University of Connecticut at Storrs. By providing timely, reliable information on economic issues the CCEA equips decision makers, including the public, with the foundation for systematic and thorough debate of public-policy issues. Past cultural organizations that the CCEA has worked with include the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford and the New Britain Museum of American Art. The CCEA is currently working on a major study to assess the economic value of all of Connecticut’s arts and cultural organizations.

The full CCEA report on the Economic Impact of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is available by contacting the Clark at info@clarkart.edu.

About the Clark

The Clark is one of the country’s foremost art museums and a dynamic center for research and higher education in art history and criticism. The Clark's exceptional collections of Old Master, Impressionist, and 19th-century American art displayed in intimate galleries are enhanced by its dramatic 140-acre setting in the Berkshires. Upcoming special exhibitions include Winslow Homer: Marking Art, Making History (Fall 2005) and The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings from the Collections of Sterling and Stephen Clark (Summer 2006).

The Clark’s public education and community programs actively engage people of all ages and backgrounds. In addition to providing free gallery and classroom programs to schools, the Clark fully funds transportation costs for any school group that can travel to Williamstown by bus in one day.

The Clark is one of only a few art museums in the United States that is also a major research and academic center, with an international fellowship program and regular conferences, symposia, and colloquia, and one of the most comprehensive art research libraries in the world. The Clark, together with Williams College, jointly sponsors one of the nation’s leading M.A. programs in art history

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Economic Impact of theSterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

By:

Stan McMillen, Ph.D., Manager, Research Projects

Kathryn Parr, Senior Research Assistant

Xiumei Song, Research Assistant

Research assistance provided by:

Bryant Goulding, Research Assistant

Eric Lewis, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Brian Baird, Research Assistant

October 2005

CONNECTICUT CENTER FOR ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

Fred V. Carstensen, Director

William F. Lott, Director of Research

University of Connecticut

341 Mansfield Road

Unit 1240

Storrs, CT 06269

Voice: 860-486-0485 Fax: 860-486-0204

http://ccea.uconn.edu

The cultural arts constitute a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States and produce a total annual economic impact of over $3.4 billion in Massachusetts alone.[1] These staggering numbers have spurred national interest in the economic impact of the arts, and have initiated extensive research by the RAND Corporation, Richard Florida of Carnegie Mellon University, and others. Growing national recognition of the value of the arts, in terms of economic generation and cultural benefit, has had particular resonance in the Berkshires. With the arts and tourism ranked a top sector of the region’s economy, cultural and community leaders have long recognized the importance of the distinctive cluster of cultural institutions in the Berkshires, and have actively pursued initiatives to further develop and sustain the creative economy of the region.[2]

In anticipation of fifty years of continuous, year-round public service in the Berkshires, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute commissioned the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis (CCEA) at the University of Connecticut in 2004 to analyze the Clark’s economic impact on the surrounding region. Although the Clark has long been recognized as a cultural leader in the Berkshires, its economic impact had not been quantified. For this report, CCEA combined specific data analysis of the Institute’s operations in 2003 with leading national research to gauge the impact of the Clark in the region.

CCEA’s resulting analysis of the Clark aims to contribute to the collective effort to understand the economic impact of the arts in the Berkshires, and to raise national consciousness about the economic contribution that arts organizations make to their communities. That the Clark is a principal contributor to the national conversation on public policy and the arts and that the Berkshires—home to a distinctive cluster of cultural arts institutions and regarded as America’s premier cultural resort—help position this report as a frame for more broadly considering the impact of the arts in the nation.

As the results of this report demonstrate, the Clark today is a leader in the group of Berkshire cultural institutions and is committed to further economic growth of the region. With an annual operating budget of nearly $11 million, the Clark employs over 80 full-time employees with a payroll of close to $4 million. More than 175,000 annual visitors make the Clark the largest year-round cultural attraction in the Berkshires; a recent study shows that almost half of those visitors come to the region specifically for the Clark.[3] In the course of its analysis, CCEA has highlighted the following critical economic impacts of the Clark:

SUMMARY OF ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE CLARK[4]

$20.3 million annually, in new spending by visitors to the Clark

$14 million annually, in additions to the personal income of the region

$19 million annually, in additions to the total economic output of the region

380 new, full-time equivalent jobs in the region, stimulated by the Clark

Beyond these benefits, analysis of the data reveals that the Clark’s most important contributions can be viewed in three distinct ways:

1. Quality of life, Social Networking, and Community and Region Building

Community-oriented art museums and research centers like the Clark are invaluable to the vitality of their region. Numerous studies show that they are central to the quality of life and critical to the attraction and retention of professionals and businesses. Work by Richard Florida demonstrates the value of creative workers, nourished by cultural institutions, to vibrant cities. A recent survey reports that nearly all chief executive officers cite the availability of cultural activities as a principal consideration when choosing a new location. The presence of the Clark and its colleague institutions and organizations in Berkshire cultural life help create and sustain the social capital of the region.

2. Promotion of Cultural Tourism and Support of Cultural Institutions

The Clark plays a major role in cultural tourism in the region, attracting significant numbers of visitors from other states and countries. Cultural tourism is critical to sustaining the local economy, and cultural tourists stay longer and spend more money than other types of visitors. As a cultural leader in the region, the Clark maintains close and collaborative relationships with various cultural partners, including: the Berkshire Museum, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Hancock Shaker Village, Jacob’s Pillow, MASS MoCA, Norman Rockwell Museum, Tanglewood Music Center, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. The Clark is a principal constituent in this cluster of arts and cultural institutions in the Berkshires. The presence of the Clark stimulates collective visitorship and economic growth, and it is central to the long-term prosperity of the region.

3. Community Education and Higher Learning

The Clark, like other leading museums, plays an increasingly important role in public arts education, in part because of the recognized developmental benefits of arts education, and in part because of deteriorating budgets for such programs in the nation’s public schools. The Clark contributes significantly to arts education by serving as a central component of the social and educational fabric of the community and region. Over the years, the Clark’s programmatic mission has adapted according to the needs of the community, and continues to sustain a dynamic, comprehensive approach to arts education for people of all ages.

ABOUT THE CLARK

Among the country’s best-loved museums, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is also one of the world’s foremost centers of research and higher education in the visual arts. The Clark’s exceptional collection of Old Master, Impressionist, and nineteenth-century American art, displayed in a series of intimate galleries, is complemented by an ambitious special exhibitions program. These exhibitions, often organized in partnership with leading national and international arts institutions, promote new scholarship and engage audiences with significant works of art from around the world. Along with the Getty and National Gallery of Art, the Clark is one of only three centers for advanced study in the visual arts in the United States. As a greenhouse for collaborative discussion about the visual arts and culture, the Clark draws international scholars to advance their research, and promotes a rigorous, year-round schedule of symposia, colloquia, lectures and conferences. The Clark’s art research library—one of the largest in the country—attracts an interested public and top researchers in the field. The Clark is also home to the Williamstown Art Conservation Center and, in collaboration with Williams College, offers the country’s leading master’s degree in the history of art. All of the Clark’s programs are enhanced by its pastoral setting on 140 acres in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. Taken together, the Clark’s renowned collections, extensive programs, and stewardship of its natural resources make the Clark an institution of international impact, national consciousness, and regional responsibility.

 


[1] Total economic impact of cultural organizations in Massachusetts in 2000. See New England’s Creative Economy: the Non-Profit Sector-2000. New England Foundation for the Arts, 2003.

[2] According to recent information collected by the Harvard Business School and distributed to the Berkshire Economic Development Corporation.

[3] 43% Hayward, Jeff (2001). “Berkshire Cultural Attractions 2001 Summer Visitor Analysis,” People, Places & Design Research, Northampton, MA.

[4] Based on statistics from fiscal year 2003.

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