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Economic Impact studies have become a common tool for colleges and universities to examine the effect that their institution has on their local and/or regional economy. These effects are often wide-ranging: knowledge creation, research and development, and direct and indirect expenditures into local and surrounding economies. The Art Academy is a unique institution in that it is one of the smallest four-year art colleges in the United States. Traditional economic impact studies are designed to focus and appeal to the needs of large and regional research universities. However, this summer the Community Building Institute (CBI) of Xavier University created a sound and valid methodology that focused on the impact of the Art Academy, a small arts institution, on solely the neighborhood it is located.

The Art Academy of Cincinnati was a development catalyst when it moved to Over the Rhine in 2005. We helped pave the way for other arts organizations and companies to follow.  Over the years, AAC students, faculty, and staff buy art supplies, lunches, entertainment, parking, and gasoline; we pay rent and mortgages and invest in life necessities and niceties. According to the Community and Economic Impact conducted by CBI, a conservative estimate and is that in 10 years the Art Academy has infused nearly $2,000,000 into Over-the-Rhine. That is not an insignificant amount.  

On Monday, September 19, President John Sullivan and Henry Simanson the graduate student of Xavier University who defined the methodology and conducted the research and report, shared this information with the City of Cincinnati’s Committee on Human Services, Youth, and Arts chaired by City Council woman Yvette Simpson.  You may watch that presentation at this link. https://archive.org/details/16160919HSYA at minute 24.  

Or, join them in Chambers at City Hall on Monday, October 17 when they will make a presentation to the Neighborhoods Committee chaired by Vice Mayor David Mann.