CNY Arts, Inc.

Arts & Entertainment Districts

Arts & Entertainment Districts

Building Welcoming and Connected World-Class Communities

(Page 47, Strategy 7 in the CNY RISING Upstate Revitalization Initiative Plan)

“Develop environments to make arts and cultural institutions more competitive and sustainable.”

CNY Arts will create five Arts & Entertainment Districts in the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) cities of:

  • Auburn (Cayuga)
  • Cortland/Homer (Cortland)
  • Oneida (Madison)
  • Oswego (Oswego)
  • Syracuse (Onondaga)

All five districts are currently undertaking significant development projects focused on arts and culture and are located near higher education institutions that will be additional partners in data collecting and analyzing.

The pilot project is scalable and based on the learnings and best practices developed, could be implemented throughout our region in other cities and villages.

The Arts and Entertainment Districts will:

  • Spur the growth of the nonprofit Arts and Entertainment venues in each district resulting in increased direct expenditures to local economies, including more skilled jobs for artists, administrators, technical staff, and professional services. The Arts and Economic Prosperity IV (AEP4), an Americans for the Arts study conducted by Le Moyne College Department of Business Analytics, found that in 2012, 45 nonprofit arts and entertainment organizations contributed $33.9M in direct expenditures to the Greater Syracuse area. These expenditures supported 1804 skilled jobs for artists, administrators, technical staff, supplies, and professional services. Using this data, we project the combined financial benefits of these districts (with between 75 to 150 participating entities) will grow exponentially for each locality and the region.
  • Increase attendance for arts and entertainment in each district that will generate revenues for peripheral local businesses. AEP4 determined that each local attendee at a cultural event generated an average of $21.66 in peripheral spending, and $37.57 in peripheral spending from guests outside the region (in the Greater Syracuse Area alone). Peripheral spending totaled $99.5M in this study, and supported 3313 jobs, many of which are the crucial, entry-level jobs in restaurants, hotels, bars, and transportation that improve economic opportunity by creating jobs that will enable less-trained residents to establish work histories and learn valuable skills.
  • Revitalize Main Streets and Urban Cores to attract new businesses, residents, and visitors including day trippers and overnight guests, subsequently generating a “Halo Effect” where our communities are perceived as lively, positive locations, buzzing with activity. This is crucial for employers to attract a young, educated, and creative workforce, and provides an incentive for entrepreneurs looking to start a business in the Districts.
  • Transform business models for Arts and Entertainment operations for greater effectiveness and efficiency, while fostering relevant community engagement.
  • Use data collected from CNY Arts’ Collaborative Marketing Information system to maximize the economic potential of our arts and culture assets.


Final Master A&E Plan

RMS Study of A&E Districts

Sustainability Models for A&E Districts

Year One Potential Projects Presentation