National Arts & Humanities Month provides an opportunity to learn how the arts ecosystem impacts our local economy and quality of life in San Diego communities.
For example, did you know $174.6 billion was added to the California economy in 2015 thanks to the arts, according to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)? In addition, NEA studies show a strong correlation between the arts and the well-being of older adults, as well as developmental benefits during early childhood.
Locally, the City of San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture recently reported the nonprofit arts and culture sector generates $1.1 billion in total economic activity. This spending supports 35,914 full-time equivalent jobs, generates $894.4 million in household income to local residents and delivers $116 million in local and state government revenue.
During this month of coast-to-coast recognition of arts and culture in America, it’s important to understand that the arts serve as a powerful tool and provide benefits for San Diegans to explore new ideas and engage with one another.
Because local artists often have deep roots in communities, their work sparks conversation, promotes civic engagement and celebrates our region’s unique diversity – strengthening our economy, community and culture.
Arts & Culture Contributes to a Creative Economy
The local impact of arts and culture is evident in The San Diego Foundation Creative Catalyst Program.
Since its inception, the program has partnered with more than 30 arts and culture nonprofits and 45 artist fellows, reaching more than 170,000 community members to help grow San Diego’s creative economy, advance artist careers and strengthen community engagement by increasing opportunities for San Diegans to experience arts and culture.
Grants are awarded annually to artists and their respective nonprofit sponsors who work collaboratively with each other and the community to develop and showcase their art projects.
The 2018 cohort of Creative Catalyst Fellows consists of:
- Filmmaker Evan Apodaca and nonprofit sponsor So Say We All
- Dancer Erica Buechner and nonprofit sponsor Art Produce
- Theatrical director Matt Morrow and nonprofit sponsor La Jolla Playhouse
- Muralist Maxx Moses and nonprofit sponsor The Urban Collaborative Project
- Playwright Thelma Virata de Castro and nonprofit sponsor Asian Story Theater
Recently, Creative Catalyst Program Co-Founder & Co-Chair Jill Hall, Maxx Moses and 2015 Creative Catalyst Artist Ron Najor shared how artists are impacting San Diego’s creative economy and making San Diego a better place to work, enjoy, live and learn.
Director of Community Impact Katie Rast hosted the discussion on a Facebook Live broadcast. Watch the broadcast below: