Arts & Economic Prosperity

Led regionally by ARTS Obispo, in cooperation with affiiate cultural producers, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study provides compelling evidence that the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $27.7 million industry in San Luis Obispo County—one that supports 916 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $2.8 million in local and state government revenue.

Twenty-eight nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, which spent $13.7 million during 2015, leveraged a remarkable $14 million in additional spending by their audiences—spending that pumped vital revenue into restaurants, hotels, retail stores, parking garages, and other local businesses.

By proving that investing in the arts and culture yields economic benefits, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 lays to rest the misconception that communities support arts and culture at the expense of local economic development. In fact, communities that support the arts and culture not only enhance their quality of life—they also invest in their economic well-being.

The impact of spending by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations is far reaching: they pay their employees, purchase supplies, and acquire assets within the local community. Additionally, unlike most industries, the arts leverage significant event-related spending by their audiences. Whether serving the local community or out-of-town visitors, a vibrant arts and culture industry helps local businesses thrive.