About Us

City of San Antonio, Department of Arts & Culture Logo

Creative Economy

Growth & Prosperity

Total economic impact of $4.8 billion.The latest San Antonio Creative Industry Economic Impact Assessment Study, shows a 21.4% increase in the economic impact of the creative economy from the study’s last release in 2017. The study’s data reveals a total economic impact of $4.8 billion.

The study, conducted on a biennial basis by Steve Nivin, Ph.D., Chief Economist at the Saber Institute, compares creative economy data between 2016 and 2018. The study’s findings included that employment in the creative industry increased by 7.23 percent within that time period, with total employment measured at 26,684 positions generating $1.3 billion in income.

The study breaks out the economic impact of each creative sector including:

  • Printing, Broadcasting, & Related Activities: $1,438,107,969 
  • Design & Advertising: $1,094,596,645
  • Performing Arts: $924,375,489
  • Museums & Collections: $248,755,807
  • Independent Artists, Writers, & Performers: $118,539,311
  • Visual Arts, Photography, & Culinary Arts: $114,746,809
  • Schools: $102,364,358
  • Total Employment: 26,684

Cities with vibrant arts and culture communities are recognized for being a place where people want to live, work and visit. The creative industry often impacts overall economic development, paints a broad stroke on the cultural identity of a city and serves as key support for all industries in San Antonio – with artists employed by industries including finance, healthcare, government, hospitality and more. In addition, according to the Americans for the Arts Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, arts audiences spend an average of $31.47 a person per event outside of cost of admission, accounting for a national average of $102.5B spent at local businesses.  

Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations are vital contributors to the region's economic, civic and educational fabric. They create jobs, stimulate dialogue, and improve quality of life. The 2019 SMU DataArts Report on the Department of Arts & Culture Grantees provides a glimpse of the performance, vitality and impact of arts and culture on our community. Key highlights include:

  • The Department of Arts & Culture's 41 Grantees spent nearly $40M providing 3,586 jobs
  • The department's $6.8M in grants multiplied nearly tenfold as grantees leveraged an additional $63.6M from other funding sources 

Leading initiatives to develop the creative economy is the Department of Arts & Culture’s Cul-Tú-Art Plan, launched in 2017 with the release of the 2017 San Antonio Creative Industry Economic Impact Assessment Study. This coordinated planning document that identifies strategies for key focus areas in the creative economy including film, art funding public art, cultural districts, music and performing arts.

Background Color:
Background Pattern:
Friday, May 14, 2021