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IU Jacobs School of Music

Linda Cajigas
IU Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Monday, April 21, 2008

Study details cultural and economic impact of IU Jacobs School of Music

April 21, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music helps foster Indiana's economic and cultural well-being. According to a study released today (April 21), the Jacobs School accounts for $120 million a year in economic activity in Indiana, supporting about 900 jobs and generating $4.7 million in state and local taxes.

But the school's impact goes far beyond dollars and cents, says the study, which quantifies the ways in which the Jacobs School and its faculty, students and alumni play an essential role in the vibrancy of the state's cultural life.

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"This study confirms what we at Indiana University have always known intuitively: the Jacobs School of Music is a state treasure in every sense," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. "The Jacobs School not only attracts top student musicians from around the world to Indiana, it provides Hoosiers across the state with easy and affordable access to musical productions of a caliber and quality normally heard only in the cultural capitals of the world."

The study, titled The Impact of the Jacobs School of Music on the State of Indiana, also includes an analysis of the importance of the school in making Indiana attractive to the "creative class" that drives the 21st century knowledge economy.

Gwyn Richards, dean of the Jacobs School, said it shows the extent to which the school has fulfilled the dream of longtime IU leader Herman B Wells of bringing the best of the world's learning and culture to the people of Indiana.

"I think he would be very proud that these cultural institutions have resonated beyond even what he could have imagined," Richards said.

Sally Gaskill, an arts administrator now working at the IU Center for Postsecondary Research, managed the study which can be seen on the Web at

The Indiana Business Research Center at the IU Kelley School of Business conducted the economic analysis, employing the widely-used IMPLAN analysis tool developed by the University of Minnesota.

The IBRC analysis finds the annual impact of the Jacobs School includes $70 million in direct effects, $20 million in indirect effects and $30 million in induced effects. In terms of employment, that spending translates to direct effects of 430 jobs, indirect effects of 180 jobs and induced effects of 290 jobs. (Direct effects are those directly attributable to the school purchases, the household purchases of employees and student spending; indirect effects result from industries doing business with the school; induced effects are changes in economic activity resulting from direct and indirect effects. The 900 jobs include full-time and part-time employment.)

Timothy F. Slaper, director of economic analysis for the IBRC, said the Jacobs School is something of a "cash magnet" for Indiana and especially the Bloomington area, because 97 percent of tuition and fees generated by the school comes from students from outside of the state.

The IBRC also surveyed faculty, students and alumni to help gauge the cultural impact of the Jacobs School. It found that 72 percent of students and 77 percent of faculty participate in Indiana cultural activities outside of the Jacobs School. The school's students, faculty and alumni perform in all major musical ensembles in Indiana and are well represented in orchestras in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Terre Haute, Evansville, Columbus and Carmel.

While Jacobs School alumni live in all 50 states, the survey found, a high percentage remain in Indiana -- almost 20 percent of survey respondents.

The school's more than 1,100 official performances each year serve a total audience estimated at 130,000. In addition to almost daily concerts and recitals during the academic year, the school operates the country's leading collegiate opera house and one of its top ballet programs and serves hundreds of students through pre-college programs.

Richards noted that many performances are free -- such as a concert Feb. 10 by acclaimed violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Jeremy Denk in Bloomington. "One of the things we love is that we can have an incredible asset and offer it to the community for free, thanks to support from the university and from our donors," Richards said.

Michael Rushton, director of the arts administration program in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs and co-editor of the Journal of Cultural Economics, contributes an analysis of the school's impact from a cultural economics perspective.

Rushton explains how the Jacobs School adds cultural as well as economic value to living in Indiana, including the "option value" of knowing that world-class musical performances are available. "For example," he writes, "I might value the success of my local orchestra even if I do not attend concerts now, because I would like to know that, because of the success of the orchestra, my children and I will have the option of attending at some time in the future."

Citing Richard Florida's book The Rise of the Creative Class and other research, Rushton says the Jacobs School enhances Indiana's economic prospects by helping the state attract and retain smart, creative and entrepreneurial individuals.

His own research, Rushton says, finds a strong correlation between the presence of artists and musicians living in a city, the overall level of education and the likelihood of rapid income growth. "This provides some evidence of a 'virtuous circle:' landing a talented population helps attract an even greater number of talented people," he writes.

Selected findings

Economic impact:

  • Total annual impact: $120 million
  • Annual state and local taxes generated; $4.7 million
  • Student spending (outside of tuition and fees): $23 million
  • Total employment impact: 900 jobs.

Cultural impact:

  • 72 percent of students participate in cultural activity outside of JSoM.
  • 77 percent of faculty and staff participate in cultural activity outside of JSoM
  • 1,100 annual JSoM performances
  • 130,000 annual JSoM audience members
  • JSoM students, faculty and alumni participate in all major Indiana ensembles.

Educational impact:

  • 400 alumni working as music educators in Indiana
  • 1,600 IU Bloomington students majoring in music
  • 6,600 non-music majors served by JSoM programs
  • Pre-college programs serve large area of South-Central Indiana.

Advancing Indiana University:

  • Promotes an environment that stimulates creativity and new ideas
  • Helps attract highly skilled and talented individuals to the state
  • Builds an Indiana identity that is cosmopolitan, sophisticated, culturally current
  • Is a prolific and global exporter of Indiana's cultural identity.