Economic Impact of a New Kaleideum in Downtown Winston-Salem
Kaleideum (the new museum created by the merger of SciWorks and the Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem) will have a tremendous impact on downtown Winston-Salem and our entire community. There are standard methods to calculate the economic impact of a cultural institution, and the synergies created through this merger and move will increase our economic impact dramatically.
Using a calculator developed by Americans for the Arts, we can see the following:
The current economic impact of Kaleideum is about $6,880,000 per year. This includes both revenue we generate at our two locations, and money in the community spent by our visitors because of their visit. We support 213 full time positions in the community both within the museum itself and in the service community of Winston-Salem. We enrich local and state coffers through taxes by about $750,000.
After our move to downtown Winston-Salem at a site at the corner of Third Street and Town Run Lane, it is anticipated that we will have an economic impact of $10,665,000 in the community. This impact will be felt right in the heart of downtown. This analysis indicates that we will be supporting 324 jobs in the wider community, an increase of over 100 from what the museum creates currently. We will help local and state coffers by almost $1,300,000 per year.
These are significant increases that argue for our merger and our move to downtown. Further, the impact we have will move with us to downtown Winston-Salem and help in the city’s restoration of a vibrant, active and safe and sustainable downtown.
The primary driver for our move is increased accessibility to the entire community. A downtown location means bringing over 300,000 visitors into the center of Winston-Salem to support the Arts, restaurants, shopping and services already located there. But there is a tremendous added bonus, our visitors are families. We will be the first public institution downtown catering full time to the entire family.
This means not only an increase in the number of visitors to downtown, but a dramatic change in the kind of visitors. We know that bars and restaurants along Fourth Street do great business during the night and on weekends. But we will help keep downtown vibrant and exciting during daytime and evenings all week long. We will be easily accessible through public transit and want to partner with organizations who want to take advantage of, and be part of, the new heart of the city.
We know that companies in Winston-Salem are recruiting new talent from across the country. Having an exciting family-centered organization right downtown will be a huge draw to attract the best and brightest to make Winston-Salem their home. Strong, vibrant cultural amenities improve communities and enhance quality of life measures.
Kaleideum will continue to profoundly change Winston-Salem and Northwest North Carolina for the better. Our motto is “Learning Re-imagined” and families growing up engaging in the creative, collaborative, learner-centered opportunities that we provide will be producing tomorrow’s artists, inventors and innovators. And isn’t that what matters in the City of the Arts and Innovation?
Dr. Paul Kortenaar is the community executive director of Kaleideum, a new mission of the merged museum (Children’s Museum and SciWorks). Reach him at email@example.com