Arts & Economic Vitality

The economic impact of the arts is only one reason that a thriving arts culture is vital to our city. The arts add to our quality of life, provide meaning, and feed our soul. These benefits can’t be measured.

That said, a strong local arts sector is an economic asset that stimulates local business activity and employment, attracts tourism revenue, and also retains and sustains a talented workforce - by making Santa Cruz a great place to live.


In 2013 the City partnered with American for the Arts to administer the Arts and Economic Prosperity IV study locally. The most comprehensive study of its kind, it inventories local cultural organizations and analyzes the direct impact of their activities and audiences. The results indicate that in 2012 the arts sector across Santa Cruz County was a major economic driver that:

  • Total County-Wide Economic Activity: $38.38M
  • Local & State Government Revenue: $5.26M
  • Full-Time Equivalent Jobs: 877
  • Local Household Income: $22.36M

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