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For immediate release - January 14, 2004
Press Contact: J. M. Bailey (617) 971-9383

Economic Impact of 2003 Boston Cyberarts Festival Estimated at $2.6 million

Independent study at U. Mass Dartmouth confirms impact of arts on overall economy

Boston, MA - A study conducted by the Center for Policy Analysis at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth has concluded that the 2003 Boston Cyberarts Festival generated a total regional economic impact of nearly $2.6 million and created the equivalent of 32.4 full-time equivalent jobs.

The Center for Policy Analysis was retained to perform this evaluation by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which provided the initial grant that enabled the Festival to get off the ground in 1999. The Center is a multidisciplinary research unit dedicated to providing research, information, and technical assistance that facilitates economic, social, and political development. 

David Borges, Senior Research Associate at the Center for Policy Analysis, commented, "The results of our study clearly show that the Boston Cyberarts Festival not only benefits the arts community, but also contributes to Boston's larger economic development strategy in the areas of tourism and professional services."

The 2003 Cyberarts Festival included 78 organizations and over 100 programs involving more than 350 artists, humanists, and scientists. The total economic impact of $2.6 million includes $128,000 in expenditures by Boston Cyberarts to organize and promote the Festival; $892,000 spent by participating organizations to put on individual events and exhibitions, including $172,000 in direct payments to artists; $932,000 spent by attendees on admissions, transportation, restaurants, and the like; and $635,000 in indirect and induced economic impacts. 

Mary Kelley, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, remarked, "These results confirm that arts and technology are vital contributors to successful economic development." She continued, "It is gratifying to see how the Festival has grown and developed since the MCC's initial investment five years ago." The program under which the initial grant was made, the Cultural Economic Development program, was discontinued in 2002 when the MCC's budget suffered a 62% cut.

Festival Director George Fifield commented, "The Festival was started as a way to forge partnerships among artists, cultural organizations, and the high-tech community, and we are delighted that the Festival is fulfilling this mission." He added, "It is clear from these research findings that money invested in cultural events can pay off handsomely."

Researchers at the Center for Policy Analysis also asked attendees for their opinions about Festival events. Ninety-five percent of respondents rated the events they attended as either excellent or good, and 97.6% said they would recommend the Festival to their friends. Total attendance is estimated at 21,000 people making a total of over 60,000 visits to events.

A complete copy of the survey results (1,010k pdf) is online at www.umassd.edu/cfpa/docs/cyberarts.pdf.

For additional information, contact the Center for Policy Analysis (508.999.9264 or ) or Boston Cyberarts (617.524.8495 or ).  

# # #

The 2003 Boston Cyberarts Festival is an international biennial festival that brings together artists in all media who are using computers to advance traditional artistic disciplines and to create new interactive worlds. The Festival will take place at museums, galleries, theaters, educational institutions, and public spaces in and around Boston from April 26 to May 11, 2003, and on the Festival’s website. For further information, call 617.524.8495 or visit bostoncyberarts.org.

Boston Cyberarts Festival
9 Myrtle Street
Boston, MA 02130

Telephone 617.524.8495
Fax 617.524.9968


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