What does this measure?
Total number of attendees at arts and cultural attractions in the region each year as reported by Rochester Business Journal.
Why is this important?
Arts and cultural attractions bring visitors and money into the area. Cultural events also help retain local money and interest while contributing to regional prestige and quality of life.
How is our region performing?
Over 4.2 million individuals attended arts and cultural attractions in the region in 2016, down from nearly 4.4 million in 2015. At 4.6 million, 2008 was the region's peak year. Compared to 2004, attendance was up 25% in 2016. Attendance at musical attractions increased the most, by 135%, while attendance at festivals increased 25%. (It should be noted that attendance is, of course, influenced by the scale, quantity and frequency with which attractions and events are offered.)
Museums and zoos consistently had the highest overall annual attendance for the period, with a 2016 total attendance of 1.8 million. The Strong Museum was the region's best attended cultural attraction, with more than 550,000 visitors in 2016. The Lilac Festival was the best attended festival in 2016, attracting half a million visitors.
Notes about the data
Data is self-reported by arts organizations, and some large reported changes probably reflect differences in how attendance was counted from year to year, rather than true fluctuations in attendance. Data for this indicator are expected to be released in the first quarter, with a 2-year lag.
Arts and Culture Attendance, 2016
|Attractions||Type||Number of Visitors|
|Rochester Museum and Science Center||Museums/Zoos||382,800|
|Seneca Park Zoo||Museums/Zoos||321,497|
|Park Ave Summer Art Festival||Festivals||250,000|
|Memorial Art Gallery||Museums/Zoos||225,200|
|Rochester International Jazz Festival||Music||205,000|
|Fairport Canal Days||Festivals||200,000|
|The Little Theatre||Dance/Theatre||191,237|
|Eastman School of Music||Music||180,000|
|Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra||Music||161,100|
|Corn Hill Festival||Festivals||125,000|
|George Eastman Museum||Museums/Zoos||113,950|
|Genesee Country Village and Museum||Museums/Zoos||91,750|
|Naples Grape Festival||Festivals||70,000|
|Rochester Fringe Festival||Festivals||68,000|
|Ganondagan State Historic Site||Museums/Zoos||50,000|
|Nazareth College Arts Center||Dance/Theatre||45,745|
|Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park||Museums/Zoos||35,000|
|Hilton Apple Festival||Festivals||35,000|
|Rochester Contemporary Art Center||Museums/Zoos||25,000|
|Howard Stowe Roberts Cultural Life Center||Dance/Theatre||23,000|
|Brockport Arts Festival||Festivals||15,000|
|National Susan B Anthony Museum & House||Museums/Zoos||13,000|
|Blackfriars of Rochester||Dance/Theatre||10,000|
|CenterStage Theatre at the JCC||Dance/Theatre||10,000|
|Downstairs Cabaret Theatre||Dance/Theatre||9,443|
|Bristol Valley Theater||Dance/Theatre||9,200|
|Palmyra Canaltown Days||Festivals||7,000|
|Rochester Pride Festival||Festivals||7,000|
|Rochester International Jewish Film Festival||Festivals||5,008|
|ImageOut Film Festival||Festivals||4,900|
|New York Museum of Transportation||Museums/Zoos||4,420|
|Antique Wireless Museum||Museums/Zoos||3,000|
|High Falls Film Festival||Festivals||3,000|
|Rochester Jewish Book Festival||Festivals||2,008|
|Native American Dance & Music Festival||Festivals||2,000|
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