Sioux Falls Arts Council Unveils Study Showing Economic Impact of Local Arts and Culture

Findings reveal the non-profit arts and culture industry generates $104.5 million in total economic activity in the Sioux Falls area, supports 3,567 full-time equivalent jobs, generates $71.1 million in household income to local residents and generates $3.3 million in revenue to local government.

Sioux Falls, SD (June 20, 2017) The results of an economic study commissioned by the Sioux Falls Arts Council indicate that the local nonprofit arts and culture sector stimulates economic activity to the tune of over $100 million a year since 2015.

This is the second time the Arts and Economic Prosperity Study, facilitated in partnership with Americans for the Arts, has been conducted in Sioux Falls.

“ The good work of arts and cultural organizations has intrinsic value, adds to our quality of life, and—as this study demonstrates—injects our community with dollars and jobs,” says Kara Dirkson, Executive Director of the Sioux Falls Arts Council.

The Study found that on top of admission costs to events, arts and culture audiences spend an additional $30.35 per person per event. This figure is up from $21.57 reported in a similar study released in 2012. The effect of these dollars is felt throughout the local economy: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services, and acquire assets within the community while audiences spend money locally on meals, hotel rooms, and gas, among other things. The ripple effect of arts and culture spending in Sioux Falls amounts to $84.8 million annually.

Add to this the $20.8 million spent by arts and cultural nonprofits themselves, the result is $105.4 million in cumulative economic activity in Sioux Falls.
“ It’s important to remember that these numbers are conservative; this study only involves data from arts and culture nonprofits, it doesn’t include for profit arts businesses and individual artists which are also important partners in our larger arts and cultural ecosystem,” Dirkson says.

The data also indicates that Sioux Falls ranks well above the national median when it comes to the number of FTE’s, resident household income and local government revenue supported by this sector.

In the Greater Sioux Falls Area, (Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, and Turner counties) 33 of approximately 66 eligible nonprofit arts and culture organizations participated in this study—an overall participation rate of 50 percent, down from 56% five years ago. Dirkson points out that although the participation rate was lower this time around, care was taken to ensure that all large nonprofit organizations were involved this time around whereas at least one higher budget, highly attended organization was not included in the last study.

Participation by eligible organizations is voluntary. Eligibility is determined by using a coding system developed by the National Center for Charitable Statistics at the Urban Institute.

The following nonprofit organizations participated in the study:

American Institute of Graphic Arts (South Dakota Chapter); Augustana University Center for Western Studies and Eide/Dalrymple Gallery; Beresford Area Arts Council; Brandon Valley Band Parents; Dakota Players; Dakota Sky Foundation; Downtown Sioux Falls; Friends of Levitt Shell Sioux Falls; Great Plains Zoo and Museum; Harmony South Dakota; Harrisburg Days Foundation; JAM Art and Supplies; Minnehaha County Historical Society; Museum of Visual Materials; Olde Towne Theater Company; OTA; Retreat at Pointers Ridge; RTC; SculptureWalk; Singing Boys of Sioux Falls; Sioux Empire Brass Society; Sioux Falls Arts Council; Sioux Falls Concerts Association; Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society; Sioux Falls Mariachi; Sioux Falls Municipal Band; Siouxland Heritage Museums; South Dakota Music Educators Association; South Dakota Symphony Orchestra; Washington Pavilion Management Inc.; Wegner Arboretum Society.

For more information, please, call 605.271.6696, email, or visit the Arts Council website at

For more information about the Arts & Economic Prosperity Study 5 and Americans for the Arts, please visit

Kara Dirkson, Sioux Falls Arts Council, Executive Director
Crane Centre @ 8th & Railroad
326 E 8th St #106 A & B
Sioux Falls, SD 57103
Office: 605.271.6696


The Sioux Falls Arts Council serves as the gateway to the arts for residents and visitors in southeast South Dakota, specializing in promotion, coordination and support of the local arts community. It is driven by the belief that a vibrant and collaborative arts scene is integral for high quality of life and workforce development in Sioux Falls. Founded in 1969, it underwent a shift in 2017, becoming a coordinating, not a programming entity that creates arts experiences from scratch. Its office is in the Crane Centre at 8th and Railroad, 326 East 8th Street, Suites 106 A and B; it is open Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visit


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