CHARLOTTE -- A national survey showed the arts not only pumps millions into the area's economy, but it also create jobs.
"We know that the arts can inspire us, they can build creativity in our children."
Scott Provancher, president of the Arts & Science Council admit Charlotteans have long prided themselves on the area's arts community, more than 150 non-profit arts and cultural organizations in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.
And now he said there's proof those feelings are justified.
Members of "Americans for the Arts" released results Friday from their 2010 survey that found the arts are a big money maker both nationally, and locally, adding up to $22 billion in revenue nationally.
Provancher said Mecklenburg County's share is $202 million and more than 6,000 full-time jobs. The panel shared the good news with a group of about one hundred area business leaders at the Knight Theater.
"Shows the resiliency of this industry even in and economic downturn," Provancher said.
The group polled more than 800 people, and found attendees typically spent $30.72 per person per event in 2010 on things like food, parking and souvenirs. Provancher said the biggest draws include Discovery Place, the Mint and Bechtler museums.
"It's attracting folks from outside the community to come here and invest in Charlotte. Over 40 percent of attendees for arts and cultural events in Mecklenburg County are from outside the county," said Provancher.
It's also attracting jobs.
"That's a lot money and it means a lot to this community," said Ronnie Bryant, CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership.
He said the arts community helps him attract other types of businesses to the region.
"Companies want to come to a region that offers the cultural benefits that they can continue to enrich their lives... We have to be competitive," said Bryant.
Which Bryant said means investing in an industry that not only feeds the spirit, but puts food on the table.
Americans for the Arts conducted a similar study in 2005. Then it found the arts generated $160 million in annual economic activity in Mecklenburg County, $40 million dollars less than in 2010.