Report Shows Arts Support Local Economy

The thriving arts scene in San Jose appears to be helping the local economy rebound from the recession. The San Jose nonprofit arts sector provided more than $122 million in economic activity, according to the “Arts and Economic Prosperity IV” study released by the city Friday.

The report found growth in attendance, audience spending and jobs. Revenue increased by 19 percent since the last study five years ago. The people who attend art and cultural events in San Jose not only pay and attend the event, the report finds, but they also eat at local restaurants, and pay for parking and hotels.

“Even in this recession, the arts industry has demonstrated how it can be a significant player in San Jose’s robust economy,” said Kerry Adams Hapner, Director of Cultural Affairs. “Our cultural scene creates a visible and tangible sense of place for San Jose, a global epicenter, where people connect through the arts.”

In the last five years, attendance went up 5 percent, from 1,887,002 to 1,990,641. The report found that the average attendee spend also increased to $24.09, up from $21.03. Because of this, full time jobs by almost 500 to to 2,809.

“This study highlights that the Arts are an important sector in our strong economy,” said Kim Walesh, Director of Economic Development. “San Jose residents, visitors and workers are actively engaging in the arts, which will continue to play a pivotal role in being a driving force in our economy’s resurgence.”


  1. What is this “art” that is drawing this revenue?
    I enjoy and appreciate the arts but I have yet to spend a penny on them in San Jose this year. Curious what events are considered art for these statistics. Oak ridge theaters? Sharks game?

    Please explain to the uninformed like myself

  2. Careful patrons, purveyors and businesses catering to both. Belonging to a sector of society that is pumping this ammount of money is sure to draw some unwanted attention from Mayor Reed and his pocketbook raiders on the Council. They will either find a way to divert money to pay down the $4 billion in RDA debt they have stick its with or just shut down these “arts” like they did with the GranDtyd Prix.

  3. In the last 8 days, the California Theatre hosted two performances of Symphony Silicon Valley, a Notre Dame High School graduation(doesn’t count in the arts numbers), San Jose Stage’s Top Honors program, Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale’s 25th Anniversary Concert (with world premiere),and a California Youth Philharmonic Orchestra performance, while in the Center for the Performing Arts Mary Poppins played for the entire week.  That is just two theatres in one week. This goes on all year.

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