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Mayor Jerry Sanders: “The future looks bright for San Diego’s arts and culture"

SAN DIEGO – The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition gathered with Mayor Jerry Sanders on June 14 in Balboa Park to release the results of “FY09 Arts and Culture Economic and Community Impact Report.”

“The future looks bright for San Diego’s arts and culture and that’s good news for our city. A creative, committed and vibrant arts and culture community enhances all our lives and keeps our city strong and competitive. By investing in the arts and strengthening San Diego as a cultural destination, we invest in our future,” Mayor Jerry Sanders said.

The report provides evidence that arts and cultural organizations are instrumental in making San Diego a vibrant city with a bright future. It found that the 76 arts and culture organizations funded by the Commission’s OSP program stimulate the economy with over $181 million in expenditures.

The report also noted that economic activity created by cultural tourists (those visitors who spend more and stay longer ) is particularly important to San Diego, creating jobs and attracting revenue.

In 2009, over 1.46 million visitors traveled to San Diego to participate in arts and cultural events funded by the commission and pumped more than $750 million into the local economy including hotel expenditures that directly contribute to Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue. In addition, the 76 commission-funded arts and culture organizations employ a workforce of more than 7,000.

“Our city is well served by the nonprofit arts and cultural organizations receiving funds from the Organizational Support Program (OSP) administered by the commission,” Sanders said. “They provide quality entertainment, opportunities for education, help celebrate the variety and value of our diverse communities and provide a very substantial and positive boost to the economy of the region. Their strength today positions us well for tomorrow.”

Thanks to the vibrancy of our arts and culture community, the San Diego region is home to 4,290 arts-related businesses, both for profit and nonprofit, ranking eighth among the largest U.S. cities – ahead of Denver, Boston and Philadelphia, according to research conducted by Americans for the Arts.

These businesses employ 22,727 people, placing San Diego ninth overall in the country.

The mission of the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture is to vitalize the city by supporting the region's cultural assets, integrating arts and culture into community life and showcasing San Diego as an international tourist destination. For more information about the commission, and to view the full report, click HERE.