Impact of the Arts on our Fort Myers Economy






Your community art center touches far more than your heart. The indirect economic impact created by such a venue also affects your wallet through the generation of growth and new vitality, strengthening your neighborhood. The lucrative financial ripples are felt not only in the River District but throughout all of Lee County! 

I could easily bore you by listing the endless facts and figures of the many quantitative economic input–output models of analyses I have been reading, but I am not that sort of writer… I would rather simply help you feel the value here. 

As we all know, the direct economic impact of bringing revenue into an area is one of the strongest factors in maintaining a community that will support our daily lives in the way of workplaces as well as living spaces, shopping, and entertainment points. But more to the fact, we must consider the elevated value of keeping the currency circulating within our segment through the spending and respending of the same monies within the downtown sector.

The long and short of it is that more local dollars are retained in our district due to having a nonprofit arts center for everyone’s pleasure. Over three quarters of our patrons are local residents and would otherwise travel outside of our area to seek out the types of cultural and artistic events that we offer right here at home. And subsequently, they would take their discretionary spending with them. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center helps in a major way to plug that hole in our local bucket and stop the dollar leakage.  

Slightly over 24 percent of our consumers are our friends traveling into Fort Myers from other parts of the world to share in our lovely climate and our incredible way of life. And quite frankly, cultural tourists (versus leisure tourists) spend more. This highly creative group is clearly seeing the tremendous value in expanding their vacation experience beyond simple entertainment. They are willing to intelligently invest larger percentages of their spending money when stretching them into an educational holiday. Therefore, as a community, we stand to harvest far more significant economic rewards when we focus on drawing in these types of tourists along with our local people.

I will be the first to admit that I know very little about dollars and cents, but what I do know is people. I understand our desire to come together, and to build one another’s spirit. Thus the reason most of us choose to live in a community, a family. The term community is derived from the Latin word, communitas ~meaning “public spirit”, a combined heart of peoples. And as such, it is imperative we understand the fundamental value the arts bring to us by fostering more human connection and enhancing the quality of life for everyone with which we share our little corner of the planet. I want to welcome you to come join our family at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center!

The arts… it’s what we do.


Rebel Lilly

~A lover of lesser used words, critters of every order, and coffee. She is the girl that prefers her flowers uncut, her sunshine unbroken by clouds, and her toes in the sand.  

•All statements made in this blog are my opinion and my thoughts alone. Statements on this blog and webpage are not to be taken as medical advice in any manner. I base my writings on my personal experiences and on my own inquiry. It is highly suggested readers complete their own research and consult a medical professional before implementing any guidance offered here.

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