San Diego Now generates approx.. $1.1 BILLION in Arts and Cultures revenues

San Diego Now generates approx.. $1.1 BILLION in Arts and Cultures revenues

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SAN DIEGO ARTS & CULTURE FACT SHEET – Smart to Invest in the Arts
San Diego Now generates approx.. $1.1 BILLION in Arts and Cultures revenues
Industry leaders from Fortune 500 companies, and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) judged San Diego to be the only North American city worthy of the Business Destinations Travel Award in 2013. This is not just because of our facilities and weather but also references the active creative communities of our region.

According to Americans for the Arts, 4.3% of our GDP is derived from the arts, which is more than tourism, more than transportation, more than agriculture. Arts events affect communities positively by attracting cultural tourist who spend more per day and stay longer than other tourists. People who come to these events get an authentic cultural experience, the community is helped in branding itself and all  this works to build a stronger local economy. California is rated number one in the USA as the top cultural economy, but only 44th in how much funding is has to support this industry. Arts engage 95% of the population in the USA and the economic growth potential is unlimited. In 2014, cultural art attendance by these visitors was up 3.4%. where general attraction attendance was down 2.7%.

Of the more than $10 million in discretionary funds that the 5 county supervisors have to support non-profits in San Diego County through the Community Enhancement Program (CEP) and the Neighborhood Re-investment Program (NRP) roughly $1,303,000 is spent on non-profits arts organizations.

The following list of statistics* might be helpful at looking at the scope of the arts industry for the City of SD,

  • 35,914 Total Full-time Employees Supported by Arts and Culture Organizations
  • $553,563,393 Estimated Spending by Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations
  • $546,370,965 Estimated Spending by Cultural Audiences
  • $1,099,934,358 Total Spending by the Nonprofit Arts and Culture INDUSTRY
  • 33+ million visitors come to San Diego 16+ million booked hotel nights, and $9+ billion in visitor spend.
  • 6 Million Tourists Visit Arts and Culture Attractions and Businesses
  • Cultural tourist average stay 3.8 Days spending $561.00 1 for 8 Days $47 per day, not including the cost of the art event attending
  • $894,406,000 Residential House hold income generated
  • $48,122,000 Local Government income generated
  • $67,871,000 State Government income generated.
  • 2,644 school and community group visits
  • 298,171 people served through school and community group visits
  • 44 neighborhood events supported by Creative Communities funding program
  • 13,426 volunteers & 1,450 board members
  • $3.1 Million Amount of Federal, State, County and Tribal Government funds received to match the City of San Diego’s funds
  • Projections for a fully invested Penny for the Arts program would escalate from almost $7 ½ million in 2013 to $18 million by 2017
    *City of San Diego Commission for Arts statistics


The following are national statistics* for the arts and they are up in all areas from the previous year

  • $63.9 billion spending by non-profit arts and cultural organizations
  • $102.5 billion spending by arts and culture audiences
  • $166.3 billion total spending by arts and culture industries
  • 4.6 million total full time equivalent jobs supported
  • $96.07 billion resident household income generated
  • $27.5 billion local and state and federal government income generated from an investment of only about $5 billion
    *Arts and Economic Prosperity V Study Region by American for the Art 

Prepared by Naomi Nussbaum, Synergy Art Foundation and Patricia Frischer, San Diego Visual Arts Network