Study: ArtPrize 2023 infused $54.7 million into local economy

A study by Grand Valley State University estimates that ArtPrize 2023 injected over $54 million into the total economy.

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — ArtPrize 2023 brought big money to West Michigan according to a new study by Grand Valley State University (GVSU).

The economic study estimated that ArtPrize injected $54.7 million into the local economy during 2023. The region saw 434 jobs created and Kent County earned over $215,000 in tax revenue because of the event.

GVSU’s study estimates that 714,345 visitors came to Grand Rapids for ArtPrize, more than 50% of those from outside of the local area.

“We are thrilled to see the tangible economic benefits of ArtPrize 2023 and its role in fostering a vibrant urban core in Grand Rapids,” remarked Catlin Whitington, Executive Director of ArtPrize. “While the economic impact is undeniable, the intangible benefits of this authentic arts and cultural experience are equally compelling, driving sustained participation and the enduring vibrancy of this open, global art competition and cultural event.”

GVSU surveyed nearly 600 people who attended ArtPrize and asked them questions about their experiences. They estimate that local visitors went to ArtPrize for an average of about two and a half days, while nonlocal visitors spent over one and a half days.

Nearly 75% of the respondents to the survey said they were “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to return to Grand Rapids again.

“The three weeks of ArtPrize is our most exhilarating time of the year. The influx of visitors to our business improves our bottom line year over year,” said Alex Benda, CEO of Oh Hello Paper and Gifts. “Beyond boosting business, ArtPrize energizes downtown Grand Rapids, continuing to help foster a sense of community and artistic exploration. It’s not just an event; it’s a remarkable transformation and we’re proud to be part of it!”

The 18-day event ran from Sep. 14, 2023, until Oct. 1, 2023, and was the 14th year of ArtPrize.

ArtPrize 2024 will run from Sep. 13 through Sep. 28. Early bird venue registration is open from March 7 through March 13.

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