Survey targets jobs in the arts

CITY HALL — City officials are seeking volunteers to help track art patronage throughout Glendale as they take part in a national study on the nonprofit industry’s effect on local and regional economies, especially as the recession continues to wear on.

The most recent Americans for the Arts study, conducted in 2005, found that the nonprofit arts and culture efforts in Glendale represented a $12.49-million industry that supported 357 full-time equivalent jobs and generated $1.51 million in local and state government revenue.

Arts groups pumped an additional $7 million into Glendale’s economy through spending at restaurants, hotels, stores and parking garages, according to the study.

In January, the city’s Cultural Affairs Division announced Glendale would once again participate in the study conducted by Americans for the Arts.

“Our participation in this research is very important because it will allow us to quantify the economic impact of the arts and culture in our city,” said Ripsime Marashian, the city’s cultural affairs coordinator. “We know that arts and culture usually supports jobs and generates revenue. This survey will allow us to find out how many jobs or how much money we represent.”

The new survey will also analyze the effect of the protracted recession on the arts industry and arts-related spending, officials said.

“Much has changed since our last study as a result of the economic downturn,” Robert Lynch, president and chief executive officer of Americans for the Arts, said in a statement. “[The study] will allow us to evaluate the impact the recession has had on employment and government revenues that are generated by the nonprofit arts industry.”

Now, as Glendale officials once again facilitate the data gathering, they are seeking volunteers to attend arts events throughout the city to track and interview patrons about their additional spending.

“This is how we will be able to measure the economic impact of the arts and culture events in our city,” Marashian said.

In many instances, volunteers attend the performances for free while surveying audience members, officials said.

The study’s final report is expected to be completed in May 2012.

To find out more or sign up as a volunteer, call (818) 548-2780, or send an e-mail to

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