Erie Vital Signs

Support of Arts and Cultural Activities: Arts & Cultural Contributors

Recent Performance

This trend is mixed or inconclusive

The arts and cultural contributors data of arts and cultural organizations can lend valuable insight into the health of the local arts and cultural community. Unfortunately, even the best available data sources for the Erie region can have serious limitations. Such is the case with the recent contributors data reported by the Pennsylvania Cultural Data Project. In 2012, only 15 arts and cultural organizations in the region reported data compared to 23 the year before and 27 in 2010. Such limitations prevent accurate year-over-year comparisons of contributors totals.

A better year to benchmark 2012 data against is 2007, when data was reported by 14 local arts and cultural organizations. Overall, the total number of contributors has more than doubled from 5,446 in 2007 to 12,675 in 2012. Since 2007 there has been a slight shift in who gives to arts and cultural organizations. Government and corporate contributors have gone down, while board and foundation contributors have increased slightly. The biggest shift is the substantial increase in the number of individual contributors to arts and cultural organization rising from 5,068 in 2007 to 12,315 in 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: The number of organizations that respond to the Pennsylvania Cultural Data Project varies each year. The 2012 data was drawn from only 15 local organizations, which is a significantly lower number than those that reported data in the previous two years.

The Basics

This indicator reports the total number of contributors to all those organizations that participated in the PA Cultural Data Project in the year indicated. It includes contributors who are individuals, Board Members, corporations, foundations, and governments. A larger number of contributors indicates a broader range of support.

Why is it important?

Arts and culture create jobs and generate tax revenues. Arts and culture are important for building community and economic development. Art can be a pathway to public discussion, as well as gaining understanding on social issues and building social connections. Restaurants, art galleries, and music venues can be major selling points of an area when an individual is looking to move. Bringing in new residents allows the local economy to expand.

The Details

The Cultural Data Project is a nationwide effort. The CDP database is comprised of self-selected entities that voluntarily submit data either to participate in the data collection effort or for the purpose of applying to a CDP-affiliated grantmaker. It is not a comprehensive collection of all arts and culture-related organizations. The types of data collected include basic organizational information, revenues, expenses, marketing activities, balance sheet items, investments, loans and a wide range of non-financial information (including contributor numbers, attendance, space, pricing, capital and endowment campaigns, program activity and staffing).

The Nitty-Gritty Details

Cultural Data Project
* Overview
* FAQs about CDP data


  • Individual Contributors
  • Board Contributors
  • Corporate Contributors
  • Foundation Contributors
  • Government Contributors
  • Total Contributors

Peer Areas

None so far




Cultural Data Project

content management, website design, e-commerce and web development services in Erie, Pennsylvania