Sisters Folk Festival Contributes Over $1 Million to Local Economy


Sisters Folk Festival Inc. (SFF) announced the results of a study assessing the economic impact of the annual three-day folk festival on the local economy. SFF board and staff were excited to learn that attendees to the festival last September spent approximately $1.2 million in the city of Sisters and surrounding area.

That $1.2 million supports 13 full- and part-time jobs and contributes over $40,000 in state and local tax revenue. The study was conducted by Dean Runyan Associates, a Portland firm specializing in economic and marketing research. It was funded by generous grants from The Ford Family Foundation and a Deschutes County Commissioners Discretionary Grant. The study results strongly reinforce the value of arts-based cultural tourism.

“This kind of information is invaluable to us in grant requests and as we approach sponsors,” said Managing Director Ann Richardson. “There are foundations whose mission is to fund non-profits that have a positive impact on their local economy. We now have more than anecdotal evidence to support grant requests to those foundations. Sponsorship for the festival should be mutually beneficial – we want our sponsors to know they are reaching their target audience. With the demographic information we now have, we can make sure we are partnering with sponsors who can truly benefit from their investment.”

SFF encourages businesses, agencies and individuals to read, share and utilize the results. The study includes demographic information about folk festival patrons – where they come from, their education and income level and how they spend their money. “The more we know about our visitors the better we can make their experience,” said Richardson. A link to the survey is available at


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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