Community Vitality

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Source: Rochester Business Journal

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.

Supplemental Data

Arts and Culture Attendance, 2016

Attractions Type Number of Visitors
The Strong Museums/Zoos 551,518
Lilac Festival Festivals 500,000
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
Geva Theatre Dance/Theatre 194,894
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
Hemlock Fair Festivals 34,000
Imagine RIT Festivals 30,000
Rochester Contemporary Art Center Museums/Zoos 25,000
Howard Stowe Roberts Cultural Life Center Dance/Theatre 23,000
Clothesline Festival Festivals 22,000
ArtisanWorks Museums/Zoos 15,600
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
Arts and Culture Attendance

Source: Rochester Business Journal

Worse than NYS by 10% or more
Up to 10% worse than NYS
Equal to or better than NYS

*No or multiple regional values for this indicator

Worse than NYS by 10% or more
Up to 10% worse than NYS
Equal to or better than NYS