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2022-2023 Arts & Economic Prosperity Economic Impact Study (AEP6)

Washtenaw County Survey Collection + Participation


About the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) Study

Americans for the Arts (AFTA), the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America, has conducted economic impact studies in more than 395 U.S. communities and states. Washtenaw County has participated twice, the last time being for AEP5 study in 2017. Creative Washtenaw is partnering with AFTA to conduct the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) economic impact study for its service area of Washtenaw County. AEP6 will provide real-time data to support the argument that Washtenaw County’s arts + creative organizations are essential to the quality of life and place in our community. While part of a national study, our reports will be based on spending by our own local nonprofit arts and culture organizations as well as the event-related spending by their audiences (at local retail, parking and restaurant establishments). We believe this important research tool will demonstrate that when we invest our dollars in the arts, we are not doing so at the expense of economic development. Rather, we are investing in an industry that strengthens our local economy.

AEP6 will also assess how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the arts + creative sector since the AEP5 study was released in 2017. The national study is now underway and continues through the end of April 2023. A final published report will document the economic impact and employment data within the local creative sector. Thank you and your community in helping us make the case that the arts + creative industries are essential to economic recovery in Washtenaw County!

The AEP6 study is being conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. Americans for the Arts has conducted economic impact studies in more than 400 U.S. communities and states. Their methodology is sound. To learn more about their economic impact studies, feel free to visit


Help us Collect Surveys as a Volunteer!

If you are interested in helping us collect surveys between now and April 2023 at an event (or more than one), please fill out this form.

But Wait...We Need Your Help To Complete The AEP6 Study!

The study requires that we collect detailed information from eligible nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. Our collective charge is to acquire 800 surveys from individuals attending arts and cultural performances, events and exhibitions that take place throughout Washtenaw County. There are two components of the AEP6 Study: 1) 2022-2023 Public Event Audience Survey and the 2) Organizational Survey.

We are asking you to assist with both. Please review the following:

  First Up – 2022-2023 Public Event Audience Survey

  1. Determine, if between now and April 30, 2023, Creative Washtenaw is presenting any IN PERSON PUBLIC arts + creative events  If your answer is yes, continue with this section. If your answer is no, move on to the Second Up: Organizational Survey Section.
  2. Select up to three public events for consideration and submit your list to Creative Washtenaw here. Creative Washtenaw will send you follow-up instructions with all the materials necessary to conduct your surveys.
  3. Engage your volunteers. Most organizations prefer to use their own volunteers to collect the surveys. We will provide detailed instructions on how to collect the surveys as effectively as possible. We will never ask you to collect more than 50 surveys from any single event.
  4. Collect audience surveys from attendees at your events. The survey is a simple questionnaire that takes less than three minutes to complete.
  • Surveys must be completed ON-SITE at YOUR EVENT.
  • No more than 50 surveys per event.

There are three easy ways your audience members may complete the survey:

  • PDF: To be printed and used as a traditional paper survey. Return copies of your scanned or hard copy surveys to Creative Washtenaw.
  • QR Code: To allow attendees to participate electronically using their own smart devices while they are on‐site attending an in‐person activity.
  • URL: A “kiosk” version of the survey to be used on a tablet computer such as an iPad that is passed around to attendees while they are on-site attending an in‐person activity.
  1. That’s it! You are done!
  2. What do you get in return?  This is a collective “get” for Washtenaw’s entire nonprofit arts + creative community.
  • Every participating community receives its own customized report based on their own local survey data. An economic model will be tailored to each community and will provide specific and reliable data about the industry’s impact on local jobs and government revenue.
  • Arts & Creative Economy reports will be created for each of the nation’s 3,143 counties using federal data about the number of arts business establishments, employment, income and artist employment. (This analysis is based on both commercial and nonprofit businesses.)
  • Improved economic analysis methods will provide each community with specific sources of government revenues generated (e.g., income tax, sales tax, hotel tax, property tax.)
  • New! Social impact measures have been added to the audience survey to gauge how arts and culture impacts neighborhood pride and cultural identity.

Second Up - Washtenaw County Nonprofit Arts + Creative Organizational Survey Section

Anticipated January 2023

Whether you did or did not submit an event in section 1, you will automatically receive this survey. This research study collects reliable information about the economic impact of spending by arts and cultural organizations in Washtenaw County. All information collected will be kept strictly confidential and will be used in aggregate only for the purpose of analyzing community-wide findings. An answer is required for each question. More details to follow.

Have Questions?

Creative Washtenaw is here to help you every step of the way.  If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us, Deb Polich and Hannah Bairadi at

Creative Washtenaw and the Washtenaw County AEP6 project are supported in part, by Creative Washtenaw members and these lead organizations:

Creative Washtenaw