In 2017, Americans for the Arts prepared the Arts and Economic Prosperity Study 5 to explore the impact that the nonprofit arts and culture industry has on the economies of cities and counties across the United States of America.
Data was collected from 341 participating regions, including the city of Ocala. What they found was stunning. According to the study, the nonprofit arts and culture industry creates $56 million in economic impact, employs 1,422 individuals, and generates an additional $6 million in local and state government revenue – all right here in Ocala.
In sum, Ocala’s nonprofit arts groups not only enhance quality of life, act as a magnet for tourism, and stimulate creativity in our community – they also constitute a powerful economic force.
That’s why the arts deserve a champion. And that champion is Marion Cultural Alliance.
In 2016, MCA’s Board of Directors adopted a 5-year strategic plan and vision to make Ocala/Marion County one of the best, most vibrant communities in the nation for the arts. Additionally, MCA is proud to be a partner with the City of Ocala in the funding of Ocala’s first Cultural Master Plan. This plan offers our community a roadmap for cultural partners, funding strategies, goals, and accountability.
The Arts and Economic Prosperity Study 5 put to rest the misconception that communities support arts and culture at the expense of local economic development. In fact, it showed that the opposite is true: when communities invest in the arts, they are investing in an industry that supports good jobs, generates government revenue, and attracts tourists. Marion County’s Tourist Development Council acknowledged this as well with its decision to include Arts and Culture as a pillar for attracting visitors to Ocala/Marion County.
Sensing growing recognition of the importance of the arts, the MCA has spent the six months in 2020 interviewing a broad group of stakeholders and partners representing thousands of constituents throughout Ocala/Marion County to better understand how our community views and values the arts. These efforts have resulted in the adoption of the current strategic plan, mission, and vision for the organization. This strategic plan not only identifies the overarching goals of our organization, but also establishes clear objectives, targets, and metrics through which we will measure our success.
The MCA Board and team are committed to keep our stakeholders, members, donors, sponsors, and the public informed of the progress on the Strategic Plan. Performance towards the goals outlined in the Plan are updated monthly. Please check back shortly.