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In this column I speak from time to time about the economic impact of the arts. It’s important for the public to know that the arts contribute to the local and regional economy.

In March OCCA presented its annual management report for FY 18-19 to the City of Newport for its management contract for the Performing Arts Center (PAC) and the Visual Arts Center (VAC). Very clear and compelling information about the impact of the arts showed that OCCA leveraged the City’s $160,000 contract into over $885,814 in economic impact/cultural tourism for the City, the county and the central coast. With the total management cost of the two buildings being $283,686 OCCA earned and contributed $123,686 to the management equation.

Both the PAC and VAC illustrate a business operation initiative that a nonprofit, such as OCCA, handles in the name of urban renewal, economic development, support for local and area artists, and future arts and cultural tourism. OCCA has managed the PAC since it opened in 1988 and the VAC since 1994.

The thirty-one -year old (PAC) and the thirty-six-year old (VAC) are at the forefront of Newport’s economic development. Both buildings are open on an average of 350 days per year.

Some of the many “roles” of the Newport Performing Arts Center are:

  • performance venue
  • community gathering place
  • creative incubator (music, dance, drama, film, costume)
  • rehearsal & classroom space
  • youth learning laboratory (staging, lights, sound)
  • construction collaborative (set designs)
  • “home” 10 PAC RATs (PAC Resident Artists Team)
  • fulfillment center (Box Office, event & tourist information)
  • the OCCA the administrative office

Today the PAC’s economic impact to the region for FY 18-19 is $695,249 ticketed events (excluding ticket sales). The economic impact of all the PAC RAT performances was $486,299, while the Oregon Coast Jazz Party economic impact was $137,887, the HD Live/Met Opera events provided $60,354, and the capital campaign events had an economic impact of $10,719.

The many “media” of the Newport Visual Arts Center are:

  • visual arts venue
  • exhibition space
  • rental space
  • visual arts learning classroom
  • community gathering space
  • “home” for Coastal Arts Guild
  • informational outlet (tourist & local)
  • OCCA staff office

Today, the VAC’s economic impact for FY 18-19 to the region is $190,565, which includes the Newport Paper & Book Arts Festival ($13,639) and the three VAC galleries attendance ($176,926).

The Performing Arts Center and the Visual Arts Center anchor the Historic Nye Beach Redevelopment. They continue to define the area as Nye Beach labels itself the “Art Heart of Newport.” And, they serve as examples of the business of art in economic development for Newport, Lincoln County and the central Oregon coast.