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The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performs March 26, 2021, for a socially distanced audience at Powell Hall in St. Louis. It was the SLSO’s first in-person performance at Powell since November.

Have you wondered how much we missed by having so many arts and cultural institutions shut down during the pandemic?

In Missouri, according to new figures from the U.S. Commerce Department, arts and culture and supporting businesses were a $10.8 billion industry in 2019, representing 3.3% of the state’s economy.

That puts the state in the middle of the pack, culturally speaking. Washington state has the most arts-intensive economy, getting 8.6% of its gross domestic product from arts and culture, followed by California at 7.4% and New York at 7.0%. Delaware brings up the rear with an economy that’s just 1.4% culture.

Missouri’s “core” cultural industry, such as theater companies and museums, is relatively small, producing just $2.4 billion of GDP. The government attributes an additional $8 billion of state GDP to “supporting” arts and culture industries, the largest of which is broadcasting.

Missouri’s arts and cultural GDP grew 4.2% in 2019, slightly below the national average of 4.4%, but output grew just 0.7% at the state’s core institutions.

In Illinois, arts and culture industries produced GDP of $29.7 billion, which was 3.4% of the state’s economy. Illinois’ cultural GDP grew 3.9% in 2019.