Artists Help Buoy San Fransisco Out Of Recession

Erin Sherbert reports in the San Fransisco Examiner December 12, 2010 how artists and arts organizations have helped buoy the city out of recession. An excerpt: “Amid one of the nations worst recessions, an unsuspecting group has helped prop up local businesses as they struggle to recover from the weak economy — artists. While San Franciscos jobless rate has hovered at 10 percent and storefront vacancies have turned into an epidemic, the arts community has managed to thrive, giving the city a much needed economic boost. Museums alone have drawn consumers into San Francisco in record numbers. At the height of the recession, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art experienced a 34 percent increase in visitors since 2007, and The Citys three public art museums had a 42 percent increase in patrons from February 2009 to February 2010, according to the City Controllers Office. The trend includes the Legion of Honor and the de Young Museum, which had record breaking attendance during its King Tut exhibit. A notable exception is the Asian Art Museum, which recently had a dip in visitors and is battling its creditor to stay out of bankruptcy. Struggling businesses have leaned on these museums, along with local artists exhibits, to create a critical mass of shoppers, bar hoppers and diners who might otherwise just stay home. ‘It has ameliorated the effects of the recession,’ said Luis Cancel, the director of cultural affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission. ‘There has been a lot of economic spinoff.’ Public art investment went from $1.1 million in 2008 to $3.3 million this year, according to city arts officials.” To read the entire article, click here.


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