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 4.6 million individuals attended arts and cultural attractions in the region in 2018, up from nearly 4.3 million in 2016. This was the first time in a decade that attendance reached the 2008 region's peak year. Compared to 2002, attendance was up 15% in 2018. Attendance at musical attractions almost tripled, while attendance at festivals increased 44% since 2002. (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 2018 total attendance of over 1.9 million. The Strong Museum was the region's best attended cultural attraction, with more than 575,000 visitors in 2018. The Lilac Festival was the best attended festival in 2018, attracting half a million visitors.

Supplemental Data

Arts and Culture Attendance, 2018

Attractions Type Number of Visitors
The Strong Museums/Zoos 575,000
Lilac Festival Festivals 500,000
Rochester Museum and Science Center Museums/Zoos 375,000
Seneca Park Zoo Museums/Zoos 370,000
Park Ave Summer Art Festival Festivals 250,000
Memorial Art Gallery Museums/Zoos 240,000
CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival Music 208,000
Geva Theatre Dance/Theatre 207,403
Fairport Canal Days Festivals 200,000
The Little Theatre Dance/Theatre 198,000
Eastman School of Music Music 180,000
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Music 173,000
Corn Hill Festival Festivals 125,000
George Eastman Museum Museums/Zoos 114,940
Constellation Brands - Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center Music 100,000
Genesee Country Village and Museum Museums/Zoos 95,000
Rochester Fringe Festival Festivals 78,000
Naples Grape Festival Festivals 70,000
Ganondagan State Historic Site Museums/Zoos 48,460
Nazareth College Arts Center Dance/Theatre 47,500
Howard Stowe Roberts Cultural Life Center Dance/Theatre 45,000
Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park Museums/Zoos 40,000
Rochester Pride Festival Festivals 40,000
Hemlock Fair Festivals 34,000
Imagine RIT Festivals 30,000
ArtisanWorks & Events Inc. Museums/Zoos 26,700
Rochester City Ballet Dance/Theatre 26,000
Hill Cumorah Pageant Festivals 26,000
Rochester Contemporary Art Center Museums/Zoos 25,400
Puerto Rican Festival Festivals 25,000
M&T Clothesline Festival Festivals 24,000
Hilton Apple Festival Festivals 20,000
Brockport Arts Festival Festivals 15,000
National Susan B Anthony Museum & House Museums/Zoos 13,000
Blackfriars of Rochester Dance/Theatre 12,000
CenterStage Theatre at the JCC Dance/Theatre 10,000
Downstairs Cabaret Theatre Dance/Theatre 8,000
JCC Ames Amzalak Rochester International Jewish Film Festival Festivals 7,000
Bristol Valley Theater Dance/Theatre 6,869
Greece Performing Arts Society Festivals 5,000
ImageOut Film Festival Festivals 5,000
NY Lavender Festival Festivals 5,000
Palmyra Canaltown Days Festivals 5,000
New York Museum of Transportation Museums/Zoos 4,000
Annual Joseph Avenue Festival Festivals 4,000
Native American Dance & Music Festival Festivals 3,000
High Falls Women's Film Festival Festivals 2,500
Sulphur Springs Festival Festivals 2,000
Canandaigua Lake Music Festival Festivals 1,500
JCC Lane Dworkin Rochester Jewish Book Festival Festivals 1,400
Arts and Culture Attendance
20022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620182017
Dance/Theatre1,051,0651,057,496634,148914,854737,771822,873862,063742,354617,888684,771678,431449,024639,718781,894493,519565,772
Festivals1,170,0001,175,0001,100,000912,000914,000907,5001,100,000760,000650,000700,000950,000885,0001,417,1001,295,1571,379,9161,681,4001,668,590
Museums/Zoos1,633,2231,406,2881,442,1341,502,0512,230,1742,340,9112,230,0641,967,2892,333,7071,854,7051,907,3821,835,2241,723,9551,765,0821,832,7351,927,500
Music162,600164,800232,638252,845268,707343,000451,6001,031,900914,500330,100482,000586,032557,873541,170546,100453,000
Total4,016,8883,803,5843,408,9203,581,7504,150,6524,414,2844,643,7274,501,5434,516,0953,569,5764,017,8133,755,2804,338,6464,383,3034,252,2704,627,6721,668,590

Source: Rochester Business Journal











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


INDICATORS - Grouped by Topic REGIONAL VALUE YEAR NYS COMPARISON TREND | REGION
*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





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