Arts and culture infused economy with $191M in spending, report says
Published - 06/01/15 - 03:19 PM | 4361 views | 1 1 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On Wednesday, May 20, at NTC in Liberty Station, Councilmember Lorie Zapf joined the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture (Commission), the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition, and the San Diego Tourism Authority to release the results of the 2014 Economic and Community Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations in San Diego, which highlights the value of arts and culture as tool for inspiring future leaders and innovation.

“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 or call (619) 236-6800 for copies.

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August 19, 2015
Institutionalized learning with standardized multiple choice testing has failed. We continue to slip further behind even Third World Countries are fairing better than us when it comes to education. Industrial Arts, Music and Art programs are slashed at every turn and we wonder why our graduates cannot read or write. Our Politicians slash Parks and Recreation budgets to add fuel to the fire of dumbing down the population, there has to be a point where we say enough is enough! To continue teaching what to learn rather than how is the ultimate crime against society. The Arts open the mind and teach us how to think something that our Leaders obviously do not want educated constituents.
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