Written by Angela de Gregory

The American Alliance of Museums recently released a study discussing the impact of museums in communities and the entire United States economy.

Museums as Economic Engines: A National Study

Museum Hack broke this study down for us in the simplest of terms: museums generate Gross Domestic Product, museums create jobs, and museums contribute taxes.

Museums are not only culturally necessary but they are, “essential to the national economy of the United States.”

So, let’s look at the facts shall we? Based on information provided by the American Alliance of Museums and Museum Hack, museums contributed about $50 billion dollars to the US GDP, $12 billion dollars in tax revenue, and 726,000 jobs in 2016. 372,100 of the jobs created by museums in 2016 were directly through museums, while the remaining jobs were created by outside businesses that work with a museum in some capacity.

However, we do not have to travel the country to see the impact that museums have. Luckily, Saint Augustine is a city filled with museums and culture, and within the past year the Lightner Museum has experienced and contributed to this impact more than ever!

When the Lightner opened Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times™ in October 2017, it was the largest exhibit the Museum had hosted to date. The museum knew that there would be a positive community impact from the exhibit. People were visiting from out of town, staying in hotels, shopping in local stores and eating in restaurants just so they could see the exhibition. We are elated that so many businesses were able to piggyback off of Dressing Downton™.


On your average day however, Saint Augustine is slammed with tourists and locals looking to learn about the history here and ducking in and out of museums. Also, at least 15 times a day someone asks me if I can recommend a spot for a quick lunch or a coffee.

Upwards of 850 million people visit museums in the United States each year, and that number is rapidly growing. The Lightner Museum is thrilled to


e an impactful part of the community, and we will only continue to grow.

Next Spring the Lightner Museum will be bringing a traveling exhibition to Saint Augustine!
Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist, Works on Paper by the Artist and His Circle will open on April 12, 2019 and run for twelve weeks.

The exhibition was organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA in a  ssociation with Denenberg Fine Arts, West Hollywood, CA.


The Museum is working on developing an extensive exhibition schedule for the upcoming year, and we will share more information as soon as we can. Come and see us at Lightner Museum soon! You can feel good about coming to visit the Lightner, because you will be supporting the amazing Saint Augustine community!


The Lightner Museum is a non-profit cultural institution sustained by the generous support of individuals, businesses, and sponsors.