Statistics released Wednesday by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis indicate that arts and cultural organizations employed 16,000 people and contributed $764.9 million in workers' income to Maine's economy in 2014.
The Portland Press Herald reported that roughly $157 million of the total went to people working in the core arts and cultural institutions (e.g., museum staff, actors, dancers, performing arts company staffers) and about $562 million was for people in industries supporting those businesses.
Nationally, arts and culture businesses grew for the third straight year in 2014, the most recent year for which data was available — with economic activity increasing 1.9% when adjusted for inflation. It accounted for 4.2% of the gross domestic product that year, or $729.6 billion, the newspaper reported.
"That number, nearly $800 million for employment, really jumped out at me," Julie Richard, executive director of the Maine Arts Commission, told the newspaper. "I think it's something we should be proud of."