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WMA’s Impact- Art + Tourism

WMA’s Impact: Art + Tourism

Did you know that 68% of all tourism in the U.S. is driven by art, cultural heritage, and history?¹

Tourism drives economic growth, strengthens regional identity, and increases human connection. Importantly, cultural tourists spend nearly twice as much as other travelers, creating greater impact in the areas they visit!

Last month, WMA opened two new exhibitions, including Telling on Myself, with recent works by Beverly Leach and Synchronized Swimmers, an immersive and engaging art experience from artist Jenny Fine. During the exhibition opening at Art After Hours, WMA saw nearly 300 visitors from across the region — from Huntsville to Mobile, Birmingham to the Gulf Coast, Atlanta to Jacksonville, FL — many of whom dined at local restaurants, stayed in local hotels, and made purchases in area shops.

Last year, WMA reached 28,937 in-person visitors and digital users, creating a steady flow of arts tourism to the Wiregrass from 40 states in the U.S. and Europe, as well as increased interest and engagement with contemporary art in the Southeast. At WMA, we’re dedicated to elevating our region’s visibility effectively and creatively through the arts.

Want to see for yourself why visitors are coming to WMA? Come visit Synchronized Swimmers, on display now until February 22.


Dana-Marie Lemmer

Executive Director

1Americans for the Arts. Percentage of Foreign Visitors Participating in Arts Culture While Visiting the US 2005–2015. Americans for the Arts. Retrieved11 February 2018 from http://www.americansforthearts.org/sites/default/files/11.%20Foreign%20Visitors%203.pdf

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