Economic Impact Study: A New Performing Arts Center Will Generate $150 Million in Annual Economic Impact

Economic Impact Study: A New Performing Arts Center Will Generate $150 Million in Annual Economic Impact

This press release was originally issued by the Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation.


Sarasota, Florida – May 14, 2024 – Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation and the City of Sarasota are pleased to release an Economic Impact Study highlighting the profound contributions of a new performing arts center to Sarasota and all of Sarasota County. Prepared for the Foundation by HR&A Advisors, one of the leading real estate and economic development firms in the country, the study forecasts a significant boost to the Sarasota region’s economic landscape, projecting over $150 million in annual economic activity. This figure exceeds the current economic impact of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall by 30%, marking a substantial advancement for the city’s cultural and economic vitality. The study also estimates the creation of 1,200 permanent jobs and $300 million in tax revenues over 30 years, demonstrating a substantial return on investment.


“This Economic Impact Study showcases the incredible power of the arts and the opportunity for the Sarasota Performing Arts Center to serve as a critical economic driver of our vibrant community,” said Foundation CEO Tania Castroverde Moskalenko. “This study reaffirms what we know to be true in Sarasota – that the arts are not only part of our shared identity, fueling innovation and creativity, but also play an extraordinary role in our economic development.”


Key findings of the HR&A Advisors study include the following:

      • • Over $150 million in annual economic activity generated from operations, programming, visitation, and cultural tourism, with 358,000 annual visitors anticipated.
      • • Creation of 1,200 permanent jobs, contributing $52 million in annual wages.
      • • An injection of $562 million in spending countywide during the construction phase, including the creation of 3,200 temporary jobs and $162 million in temporary wages.

    “This study provides important information for the City Commission and Sarasota community,” said City Manager Marlon Brown. “It shows the Sarasota Performing Arts Center will be a significant economic driver from the very start of construction. The study underscores the value of this generational project and the 50-50 public-private partnership with Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation.”


    “Arts and culture have always had a critically important role in Sarasota’s economy and brand, helping to attract many thousands of visitors to the city every year,” said Alex Stokes, Principal at HR&A Advisors who led the study. “As an iconic new cultural anchor at the heart of the Bay Park, the Sarasota Performing Arts Center will ensure that Sarasota’s cultural economy continues to flourish for years to come, bringing new jobs, visitor spending, and tax dollars to the city and region.”


    For an executive summary of the Economic Impact Study, please click here.


    To request the full Economic Impact Study, please email


    About Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation

    Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation’s mission is to create and sustain a vibrant performing arts center, advance education, and enrich communities by inspiring minds through the power of the arts. The Foundation has partnered with the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall since 1987 to support arts education throughout our region, serving more than 35,000 students and their families annually with enriching arts-based education opportunities and professional development for more than 400 teachers across five counties.


    Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation is leading the vision to build the new Sarasota Performing Arts Center as a public-private partnership with the city and in collaboration with the Bay Park Conservancy and Van Wezel Hall. For more information about Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation, please visit:

    About the City of Sarasota

  • Distinguished by U.S. News and World Report as the No. 5 Best Place to Live in the U.S. and the top place in Florida, the City of Sarasota is a diverse and inclusive community located on Florida’sSuncoast with 56,000 year-round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach, and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles. Learn more about us at SarasotaFL.Gov