Artsplosure brings culture, economic boost to downtown Raleigh - WRBL

Artsplosure brings culture, economic boost to downtown Raleigh

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Sunday was the last day of the downtown event known as Raleigh's Artsplosure Festival.

For the last three days, the area around Moore Square and City Plaza has been the domain of artists, musicians and anyone who wanted to experience a little bit of culture in an urban environment.

"There's a lot of free entertainment here. It's good to get out, walk around," said Ronnie Leggett, who came downtown with his wife and young children.

But the festival also benefits the city and its downtown in another way too — it boosts the economy significantly because it attracts thousands. 

Whether it's getting a chance to participate, admiring a creative work,  or purchasing a few specialty crafts there's plenty of venues available.

Porscha Armwood was one who came and found some unique items.

"We got some cool bar-b-que sauce my dad really wanted and I got this bracket here I'm already wearing. It's a survival bracket that can hold up 550 pounds so I feel pretty safe," she said with a laugh.

The economic impact of the festival goes beyond the merchants who participate in it. The downtown also benefits from what takes place.

"We ask our audience what they spend," said Artsplosure Executive Director Michael Lowder. "It's about $1.2 to $1.5 million on site with artists, restaurants and parking. When you throw in all multipliers it's much larger than that."

But, there's another impact too: the exposure to art and other things folks might not normally experience.

"It brings the community out and we get to celebrate the arts together as a community," said Graham Roberts, who was attending with his family.

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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