Beginning January 1, 2016, Oklahomans for the Arts (OFTA) will launch a yearlong intensive effort to gather data about Oklahoma’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences. Through this effort, we’ll learn about the investments these organizations are making in Oklahoma’s economy. We’ll also assess how audiences spend their money attending cultural events around the state. The Oklahoma study is part of Americans for the Arts‘ national Arts & Economic Prosperity 5.

You may be wondering why it’s important to gather this kind of information. If you’re a supporter of the arts, you may have already experienced how arts organizations and cultural events can contribute to the economic health of a community. This study will result in reports based on well-founded methodologies to help us better explain this impact to other sectors, in turn growing public and private resources for arts and culture statewide.

Basically, if we want funds and other resources to make arts programs happen, we need to be able to speak about the financial implications on the community.

The results of the study will be released in late spring 2017 in conjunction with the results of the national study, and these reports will become valuable advocacy tools for art in Oklahoma. In the meantime, WE NEED YOUR HELP to be sure the data we collect is as comprehensive as possible.

HOW YOU CAN HELP with the Arts and Economic Prosperity 5: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts & Culture Organizations and Their Audiences in the State of Oklahoma.

Arts & Culture Nonprofits: Be on the lookout for the Organizational Expenditure Survey, distributed in May 2016. We need your thorough and complete response to ensure comprehensive data in the study. Encourage your colleagues to reply as well!

We’ll also need your help implementing audience surveys at your major events throughout 2016. Email Kelsey Karper if you want to help.

Event Attendees: Expect to be surveyed at arts & culture events throughout 2016. Your responses to this simple survey will help us track the direct and indirect spending associated with cultural events. We will be gathering a minimum of 2,000 individual surveys!

Oklahomans for the Arts is pleased to have the following organizations as partners on this study:

Statewide: Oklahomans for the Arts, Oklahoma Museums Association, Oklahoma Arts Council

Greater Oklahoma City: Allied Arts, Cultural Development Corporation of Central Oklahoma, Norman Arts Council, Arts Council Oklahoma City, The City of Oklahoma City

Greater Tulsa: Arts Alliance Tulsa, Arts Commission of the City of Tulsa, Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust, Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa

Local Partners: 
Alva: Graceful Arts Gallery and Studios

Guthrie: The Arts in Guthrie

Norman: Norman Arts Council

Ponca City: Ponca City Art Center

Reports from this study will be generated based on a number of segments, including:

  • Oklahoma-statewide
  • Oklahoma museums
  • Oklahoma Arts Council grantees
  • Greater OKC (10 county region)
  • Greater Tulsa (11 county region)
  • Alva
  • Guthrie
  • Norman
  • Ponca City

If you’d like more information about the study and how you can participate, please contact Kelsey Karper, Project Manager, at

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