Creative Industries Contributed $327 Million to Utah’s General Fund through Sales Tax in 2018

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Utah Humanities, Utah Division of Arts & Museums, Utah Museums Association and the Utah Cultural Alliance have joined forces to raise awareness of the country’s largest annual collective celebration of arts and humanities and the value the events bring to our communities statewide. The month focuses attention on the diverse activities available throughout the state, all found on, an events calendar with all things arts and culture – aimed at introducing Utah audiences to new forms of art in their hometown.

Utahns are encouraged to search and use the hashtags #artshumanitiesUT, #showyourart and #showyourhumanities throughout October to find cultural activities to celebrate the month. Notable activities include the 22nd annual Utah Humanities’ Book Festival offering 122 events in 16 communities, and featuring over 100 authors. “We’ve expanded our reach by partnering with libraries, community centers, cultural organizations, and more to serve upwards of 12,000 Utahns every fall,” said Jodi Graham, Executive Director of Utah Humanities. 

“Arts and Humanities Month in Utah as proclaimed by Governor Gary R. Herbert, gives us a chance to celebrate the often overlooked economic, educational and civic engagement values that the humanities and arts impart in our daily lives,” said Crystal Young-Otterstom, Executive Director of the Utah Cultural Alliance. “We already knew Utah leads the country for live arts participation per capita. Now we know the creative industries brought $327 million back to the state’s general fund in sales tax in 2018.”The impact number was reported this week to the Utah Cultural Alliance (UCA) as part of the State of Utah Culture Report.

UCA works with economic consultants to calculate sales tax impact and additional rankings were provided through Western State Arts Federation’s (WESTAF) Creative Vitality Suite (CVS). CVS is a cloud-based data tool that measures earnings, jobs, wages, demographics, and sales of the creative businesses. CVS pulls 97 creative industries (NAICS) and 85 creative occupations (SOC) codes sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Economic Analysis. Data from CV Suite is not self-reported data. “The arts and our museums allow us to explore ideas, express emotions and better appreciate cultures from around the world,” said Victoria Panella Bourns, director of the Utah Division of Arts & Museums. Museums participated for the first time in this year’s annual raffle for a free night of art in which hundreds of free tickets to arts events and museums were distributed in advance of the October celebration.

“Museums play a crucial role throughout the state in bettering our communities through the humanities and arts,” said Kaia Michaelis, Utah Museums Association Board President. “We hope everyone in the state will find some way to take part in the celebration this month.”

Stuart is the founder, writer and wrangler at several sites including Gastronomic SLC, Utah Now and, The Utah Review; Stuart is a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune and has worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.