“World-class arts and cultural programs are a vital component of a great city, not only because they enrich the lives of our residents but because they also support thousands of good-paying jobs and attract millions of dollars for our economy,” said Zapf. “The revenue we generate from our investment in cultural tourism helps fund our neighborhood services – our parks, fire stations, libraries, and streets.”
The report found that the 80 arts and culture nonprofit organizations received $6.4 million in funding from the Commission for Arts and Culture and stimulated the economy with over $191 million in expenditures. These nonprofits employ a workforce of 6,268 employees supported by 12,853 volunteers. This investment provided opportunities for 468,440 people to participate in school and community group visits, giving youth firsthand exposure to the arts, and 43 neighborhood events, which encourage residents to participate in a creative, engaged, civic life.
The report notes that economic activity created by cultural tourists – visitors who spend more and stay longer than the average tourist – is particularly important to San Diego. In 2013-2014, 1.6 million visitors participated in arts and cultural events, supporting the local economy, including spending money on hotel accommodations that directly contribute to transient occupancy tax revenue (which directly supports the city’s infrastructure and essential neighborhood services).
In April 2015, San Diego was recognized by the National Geographic Channel documentary, “World’s Smart Cities: San Diego,” for its strong technology sector, local innovators, and smart planning, and San Diego’s lifestyle rich in art, cultural diversity and natural beauty.
“San Diego’s creative nonprofits – ranging from museums to symphonies to theaters and more – are tremendously important as an economic driver for the region, but it’s not just the revenue that these organizations generate that makes them so essential to the community.” added Rebecca Smith, Commissioner. “These organizations also stimulate the minds of our youth, teaching them critical skills necessary to become future leaders and innovators.”
For more information, and to view the full report, visit www.vibrantcityvibrantculture.com or call (619) 236-6800 for copies.