Idaho’s performing arts—symphonies, operas, dance, and theater—enable patrons to suspend reality for just a moment, connecting more deeply with themselves and the surrounding community. Among the many industries that support local economies, the performing arts stands out by simultaneously delivering cultural vibrancy and economic vitality. Throughout the year, Idaho’s various performing arts seasons take turns in the spotlight—drawing visitors, selling tickets, boosting local employment, and enlivening community culture.
According to a 2015 study sponsored by Americans for the Arts, Idaho is home to 3,011 arts-related businesses that employ 9,693 people. Because the study only includes data from creative industries registered with a business data repository, those numbers may underestimate the actual number of arts-related businesses and jobs in the state. To support the growth of this industry in Idaho, legislative appropriations for arts increased 8.2 percent from fiscal year 2015 to fiscal year 2016.
To illustrate the effect that a single theater company can have on a community, let’s look at the general economic impact of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival in Boise. When this festival began in 1977, it drew 350 people on opening night. Back then, tickets cost $3.50 and sales revenue totaled $1,225. Today, the Shakespeare Festival attracts more than 60,000 patrons each season—tickets range from $27 to $75, and total revenue surpasses $1.6 million. The festival’s operating budget is just over $3.3 million annually. It employs more than 200 summer employees and supports 12 full-time staff members. By drawing out-of-town visitors to Boise, the Shakespeare Festival boosts sales in the local hospitality and restaurant businesses as well. Beyond economics, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival reaches upwards of 50,000 more viewers through its educational and youth programs.
Just like the Shakespeare Festival in Boise, performing arts enhance communities throughout the state and boost local economies both directly and indirectly. Other examples of performing arts that contribute to Idaho’s culture include Ballet Idaho, Broadway in Boise, Boise Philharmonic, and Opera Idaho, to name a few. As the legislature and the public continue to support the arts, related jobs and revenue will grow, and viewers will be enriched.
Housing Market. In July, the CoreLogic® Home Price Index (HPI) for Idaho, which measures home price appreciation, experienced a year-over-year increase of 7.0%. Nationally, the HPI increased 5.4% during the same period.
Job Report. Idaho’s unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage point to 3.8% in July, and the national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9% in July.
Inflation. The U.S. Consumer Price Index decreased 0.2% from June to July. Year over year, the index increased 0.8%, which is below the Federal Reserve’s target annual inflation pace of 2%.
Consumer Confidence. The U.S. Consumer Confidence Index® increased 4.4 points to 101.1 in August. The Present Situation Index increased 4.2 points to 123.0, and the Expectations Index increased 4.4 points to 86.4.