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Arts and Culture Events Generate Nearly $200 Million in Santa Barbara

In terms of full-time employees, meals, transportation, lodging, and tchotchkes, nonprofit arts and cultural groups brought $198.6 million flowing into the city and county of Santa Barbara last year. A report commissioned by both asked 93 nonprofits and 195 visitors to their events about jobs, salaries, taxes, and spending habits. About 5,857 jobs were found to be created directly for people like administrators and choreographers, but also for construction workers, printers, and salespeople, among many others. Local governments gained $19.1 million in revenue.

Volunteering was also quantified in the report, compiled by Americans for the Arts. Nearly 7,000 people gave 327,899 hours, amounting to a donation of a whopping $7,725,300 (were they paid $23.56 per hour). In-kind donations like supplies or performance space amounted to another $4,094,244.

Nonresident attendees were found to spend 167 percent more than residents, as would be expected, accounting for about $36 million of the total. Interestingly, more than half said the main reason they’d traveled here was specifically to attend the event. Even more answered that if not for the event, they would have gone elsewhere.

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