Reprinted from the Denver Post

See a show at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in 2015? Purchase a painting at a local art fair? How about buy a book from a Colorado author or visit a local museum?

If you answered yes to any of these questions you contributed to the $13.7 billion arts and culture brought to the state’s economy that year, a figure that outdid both the mining and transportation sectors, a federal study shows.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts on Tuesday unveiled their most recent analysis of the economic impact of arts and culture in the U.S. In 2015, the year with the most recent reporting data, goods and services generated by museums, architecture firms, artists and other artistically inclined businesses and agencies accounted for 4.3 percent of the Colorado’s GDP, the feds say.

It was part of $763.6 billion arts and culture contributed to the U.S. economy as a whole that year, 4.2 percent of GDP and more than mainstay industries like agriculture and transportation. Creative industries accounted for a $20 billion trade surplus that year, according to the analysis.

Work in arts and culture accounted for 4.9 million U.S. job in 2015. Of those,100,631 were in Colorado. Those workers pulled in an estimated $7 billion in wages, the numbers show.

“The data confirm that the arts play a meaningful role in our daily lives, including through the jobs we have, the products we purchase, and the experiences we share,” National Endowment for the Arts chairwoman Jane Chu said in a news release.

The analysis, collectively known as the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account, or ACPSA, looked at 36 industries that contributed to America’s arts and cultural economy. Some of them are considered core contributors — like museums and graphic design firms — and others are viewed as support industries. These include broadcasting. The analysis counted 45.4 percent of the value created by broadcasting work in 2015 as part of the arts and culture industry, generating $127.8 billion in value. That excludes broadcast sports.

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies has used the data to create an interactive profiles that allows users to examine different details on a national and state-by-state basis. The profiles — found at — show broadcasting has been by far the biggest contributor to Colorado creative economy over the last decade, followed by public cultural institutions and publishing. When it comes to comparing states in the American West, arts and culture in Colorado ranked only behind California and Washington in terms of money made.

Arts and Culture contributed $13.2 billion to the Colorado economy in 2014, and $12.8 billion in 2013, federal officials say.