Monday, March 19 , 2018, 3:06 am | Fair 41º



Arts, Cultural Events an Economic Bright Spot in Santa Barbara County

National study shows the local arts industry generated $124 million in 2010 as well as more than 3,500 full-time jobs

Arts supporters in Santa Barbara County received some good news Thursday afternoon from results of a national survey showing economic impact in the region.

Even in tough economic times, county residents still attend arts and cultural events, subsequently channeling millions of dollars into local retail, restaurants and hotels.

Results from the national Americans for the Arts “Arts and Economic Prosperity IV” study were presented at the Lobero Theatre on Thursday during a Forum on the Economic Impact of Arts & Culture in Santa Barbara County, sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.

Santa Barbara County was one of 182 regions that participated in the study.

Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider kicked off the event by reading a proclamation declaring October as National Arts and Humanities Month and Friday as California Arts Day in Santa Barbara.

She thanked those who create and those who financially support local arts.

Arts in Santa Barbara County generated $124 million in total economic activity in 2010, according to event keynote speaker Randy Cohen, vice president for research and policy at Americans for the Arts.

Study results show that this spending — $79.7 million by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and an additional $44.3 million in event-related spending by their audiences — supports 3,587 full-time jobs, generates $78.5 million in household income to local residents, and delivers $11.7 million in local and state revenue.

The good news, Cohen said, is that county residents are continuing to view arts as more than a luxury.

He urged members of the arts community to come up with creative solutions to attract more audiences to events. 

“Arts organizations are good business citizens,” he said. “Vibrant arts communities are good for local merchants.”

On average, county residents spend $21.17 per person per event, excluding admission, Cohen said. The average non-local spends $41.41, excluding admission.

Members of the audience nodded in agreement or let out sounds of surprise during the presentation, which culminated in a question-and-answer session.

Kathy Janega-Dykes, CEO for the Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau and Film Commission, also provided a glimpse into a steadily improving arts market for tourism.

She said preliminary summer numbers showed that 55.7 percent visitors who stayed in hotels and 73.1 percent of day visitors attended some arts or cultural event.

“The state of the tourism industry is very, very good,” Janega-Dykes said.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Cimme Eordanidis
"Since I truly enjoy doing what I do, interacting with people and representing them during one of life's most exciting events is very rewarding."

Full Profile >