Arts Mean Business

Texas arts pump record-breaking billions into Lone Star State, according to new report

Texas arts pump record-breaking billions into Lone Star State

Mackenzie Richter in Houston Ballet The Nutcracker
The arts mean business in Texas. Pictured here, a scene from the new Houston Ballet production of The Nutcracker. Photo by Amitava Sarkar

The arts mean big bucks for the Lone Star State. Texas Cultural Arts recently released the 2017 State of the Arts report, which shows that the arts and culture industry, encompassing everything from music and entertainment to architecture and engineering, pumped a record-breaking $5.5 billion into the Texas economy last year, which translates to $343.7 million in annual sales tax revenue.

"We know the arts are important to our culture and our society, and this report affirms they are increasingly important to our economy as well," says Judy Robison, chair of the Texas Cultural Trust, in a release.

The financial impact of the arts has increased 25.1 percent in the past 10 years. Additionally, the creative sector employs 1-in-15 Texans, and that number is expected to increase by 20 percent in 2024.

More than 8 percent of the Houston workforce is involved in the arts industry.  They comprise nearly 30 percent of the creative workers in the state and earn an average of $90,061, compare to $48,471 for non-creative positions in the Houston area.

Jennifer Ransom Rice, executive director of the Texas Cultural Trust, sums it up: "The arts mean business in Texas."

Here's the breakdown of what the arts sector generated in Texas' largest metros in 2016:

Dallas-Plano-Irving: $1,267,565,172
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown: $1,025,314,133
Austin-Round Rock: $502,195,150
Fort Worth-Arlington: $332,935,945
San Antonio: $330,844,451