Business

How much do the arts contribute to SLO County’s economy? More than you’d expect

Local nonprofit arts and cultural organizations such as the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art contributed about $27.7 million to San Luis Obispo County’s economy in 2015, according to a new Americans for the Arts study.
Local nonprofit arts and cultural organizations such as the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art contributed about $27.7 million to San Luis Obispo County’s economy in 2015, according to a new Americans for the Arts study. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Music, theater and the visual arts helped contribute about $27.7 million to San Luis Obispo County’s economy in 2015, according to a new national study.

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 looked at data from more than 14,000 arts and cultural organizations — and survey results from more than 212,000 of their audience members — in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It’s the fifth economic impact study published by national nonprofit Americans for the Arts.

According to the study, San Luis Obispo County nonprofit arts and cultural organizations spent nearly $13.7 million on payroll, supplies and other expenses two years ago, while their audiences spent an additional $14 million on event-related expenses including meals, lodging and transportation.

That spending supported 916 full-time-equivalent jobs and generated $2.8 million in local and state government revenue, the study found.

Overall, the study showed that the nation’s nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and their audiences generated $166.3 billion in economic activity in 2015, supporting 4.6 million jobs and generating $27.5 billion in government revenue.

To read the full Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 report, go to www.AmericansForTheArts.org/EconomicImpact.

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