LEPAA Continues Local Work As U.S. Study Shows Arts, Culture Add Billions to America’s GDP


Contact: Lubbock Entertainment and Performing Arts Association
Phone: (806) 747-3200

Release Date: January 22, 2014

(Lubbock, TX) – A study last month by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts showed more than $500 billion – or 3.2 percent of U.S. goods and services – outpaced the nation’s travel and tourism industry. Travel and tourism topped out at 2.8 percent of the nation’s GDP.

“This is concrete proof that the arts truly do intersect business when put to paper,” said Tim Collins, chairman of the Lubbock Entertainment and Performing Arts Association (LEPAA). “As we continue our work to raise private funds for a state-of-the-art performing arts center in the downtown cultural district, studies such as these are proof positive we’re doing the right thing economically not only for Lubbock but for our region and beyond.”

Collins added that in Texas alone, $4.5 billion is generated annually in taxable sales by Texas arts and cultural industries and more than 700,000 employees in the state work in creative jobs with an average wage of $70,000 annually.

Lubbock’s performing arts center, now in its eighth month of phase one development under the direction of LEPAA, and touted as what will be the catalyst for downtown redevelopment, is no exception to state and national statistics.

According to statistical findings by Webb Management Services, Inc., hired over a year ago to look at the economic impact of a dynamic performing arts center in Lubbock, more than $3.7 million in annual operations is expected to be pumped into the local economy annually once the project is complete. Additionally, the group projects $157 million in earnings on construction, $1.1 million in new earnings and the creation of 36 new jobs annually.

“But this is just the center itself,” Collins said. “With the capability of attracting international, national art and music entertainment, Lubbock is located on the flight line between Dallas and Las Vegas and is truly the ‘hub’ between Abilene, Midland, Amarillo and Hobbs. This lends itself to having a geographic advantage for a long-lasting relationship with superior entertainment that reaches a 62-county radius.”

Collins said the outpouring of support from area cities is tremendous and they’re ready to see Lubbock break ground on a long-deserved facility that will attract not only the talent, but also the audiences from miles around.

“LEPAA has been working together for a relatively short time in the grand scheme of things,” he said. “But we’ve made great strides – and I look forward to keeping everyone apprised each step of the way.”

LEPAA is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of those who live in Lubbock and the South Plains through the presentation of the highest quality local, national and international performances. Their goal is to raise private funds to design and construct a new, dynamic entertainment and performing arts center in the downtown area of Lubbock’s Cultural Arts District. Following construction, LEPAA’s vision is to continue its commitment and stewardship in the oversight of the performing arts center as well as educational and community programs that honor the cultural heritage of the South Plains.