Economic Impact Study to Enhance Arts in Lafayette County

For the remainder of 2016, those who enjoy Yoknapatawpha Arts Council’s (YAC) versatile programming will be asked (nicely) to complete a quick (approximately three-minutes) arts economic impact survey that will be conducted by local volunteers in an effort to gather data for an American for the Arts study.

YAC LOGOThe study’s intent is to examine the economic impact that YAC’s programming has on the entire Lafayette-Oxford-University community, gas, hotel rooms, dining, other entertainment options and transportation, to name a few.

As a reward or validation in and of itself, the fact that Lafayette County is one of only 300 communities nationwide – and the only one in Mississippi to be considered for the study – speaks volumes about the work YAC is burdened with on a daily basis. Communities that lack in arts and entertainment programming aren’t considered to participate in the study. Thankfully, for us, YAC has no such programming misfortune or issues.

The American for the Arts survey questionnaire is a simple, one-sided affair that takes less than 5-minutes to complete. Photos and video by Jeff McVay
The American for the Arts survey questionnaire is a simple, one-sided affair that takes less than 5-minutes to complete.
Photos and video by Jeff McVay
Survey questions include a laundry list of simple topics: How much admission was paid for the arts program? Did you purchase souvenirs or gifts while at the event? Was clothing purchased to attend the event (i.e. a tuxedo or dress)? Did you use local transportation to get to and from the event? … and so forth. Nothing to it, really.

Patrons will be asked to complete the survey by hand at each of the events. The form is a simple, one-sided affair with check boxes for easy completion. Participation in the survey is strictly voluntary – but, why not participate to help YAC and its mission to increase pertinent programming?

A popular question asked at a volunteers’ meeting at the Powerhouse on Tuesday, March 2, was: “So, what does YAC get from its participation in this study?’ The easy answer – given by YAC Executive Director Wayne Andrews – is that having an economic impact study conducted on a community is normally a service that costs up to $15,000. YAC’s cost will be exactly zero for being one of the communities chosen to participate.

YAC Director Wayne Andrews  Photo by Jeff McVay
YAC Director Wayne Andrews
Photo by Jeff McVay
The results of the study can later be used by city officials to examine how, exactly, the arts have impacted tourism and our economy as a whole; making contribution and partnership decisions easier and more objective.

So – with all of the above in mind – don’t be alarmed if a volunteer approaches you with clipboard in hand at the next Oxford Art Crawl (for example). This is simply YAC’s continuing effort to produce outstanding programming for our entire community as we head further into the 21st Century and our insatiable appetite for the arts increase.

Check out the short, embedded videos (top and below) for further explanation of the ongoing survey.

For more information on the study or to volunteer to help gather data, visit OxfordArts.com


Jeff McVay is a staff writer and graphic designer for Hottytoddy.com. He can be reached at jeff.mcvay@hottytoddy.com.

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