Cultural Industries Add Value to New Mexico’s Economy - July 25, 2011

"While you’re enjoying your outing, you could also think about how you’re boosting New Mexico’s economy..."

Are you going to the Chamber Music Festival, an Isotopes game, or one of New Mexico’s many museums or historical sites this week? While you’re enjoying your outing, you could also think about how you’re boosting New Mexico’s economy.

New research released last week by the National Endowment for the Arts quantifies the economic value added to cultural industries that include products and services produced in New Mexico. The three selected cultural industries are: (1) performing arts, sports, and museums; (2) motion pictures and sound recording; and (3) publishing (including software).

Value added measures how an industry adds money and jobs to the state’s economy. For example, the Santa Fe Opera employs people, builds sets, designs and makes costumes and pays for advertising. New Mexico’s economy benefits more if most of the goods and services required to stage a performance can be purchased in-state rather than being imported.

How many jobs are created in New Mexico and how much is added to the economy for each new dollar of capital investment? NEA calculated the results using economic multipliers developed by the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. (See the chart below.)

Nationally, the selected cultural industries contributed $278.4 billion to GDP in 2009. This total is broken out into three parts:

  • performing arts, sports, and museums contributed $70.9 billion;

  • motion-picture and sound-recording contributed $59.8 billion; and

  • publishing (included software) contributed $147.7 billion.

This research gives people studying the creative economy more information to understand the impact of cultural industries in job creation and capital investments. Combined with other economic information gathered by organizations like NEA and UNM BBER, powerful evidence confirms what all of us already know.

The NEA slogan says it: Art Works. It creates jobs, economic prosperity, community good and makes Santa Fe a great place to live.

Download the entire report.

NEA Arts and the GDP:

Money and Jobs for New Mexico in Selected Cultural Industries

Cultural Industry

Value added for $1 of new investment

Employment per additional $1 million of production

Performing arts multiplier
$1.04 39

Museums, historical sites, zoos, and parks
$1.14 25

Spectator sports multiplier
$1.10 19

Motion pictures and sound recording multiplier
$0.99 14

Publishing multiplier
$0.87 14


Note 1: Dollar increase in gross state product from each additional dollar of value added by the selected industry.

Note 2: Total increase in number of jobs that occurs in all industries within the state for each additional million dollars of production by the selected industry.

Source: RIMS II, Type II Multipliers, 2002/2008, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce. All analysis was conducted by the NEA’s Office of Research & Analysis, July 2011.

Kris Swedin is a community activist, writer and staffs a 21-year-old calico cat. She is also on the board of Creative Santa Fe, a non-profit organization working to strengthen Santa Fe’s creative economy.