Courtesy of the Entertainment Economy Institute / June 2012:
Mayor Jerry Sanders on Wednesday characterized the arts as the "heartbeat of our city" and a significant economic engine, with arts organizations contributing $170 million in direct expenditures to the local economy last year.
The mayor spoke at a news conference at the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park, where the city of San Diego and its Commission for Arts and Culture released the results of a 2011 Economic and Community Impact study.
Among the findings in the city's annual arts report:
The city used $5.8 million in funds from the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) to support 68 arts and cultural institutions, ranging from flagship institutions like the Old Globe Theatre to smaller organizations including the Veterans Memorial Center.
Of the arts organizations' $170 million contribution in direct expenditures to the local economy, approximately $98 million were for salaries and services, supporting a 6,000-member workforce.
6.4 million people attended events by those organizations (about 2.7 million paid admissions and 3.65 million free admissions).
Of those attendees, more than 2 million were tourists (on average, those cultural tourists stayed in San Diego for 3.8 days, compared to 1.8 days for all visitors, and spent $561 per trip, compared with the average tourist's $235).
TOT funds totaling $383,418 funded an additional 35 groups in the commission's Creative Communities San Diego program.
11,600 community volunteers supported the activities of cultural organizations (including 1,120 volunteer board members).
San Diego's entire "creative economy" is comprised of 4,631 arts-related businesses (nonprofit and for-profit ranging from orchestras to design firms), ranking seventh among the top 10 U.S. cities.
Those creative enterprises employ 22,500 people, which ranks ninth among U.S. cities.
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