Why Should You Care About Arts in San Diego?



San Diego’s arts scene has been a centerpiece of our city for the better part of the last century. Our arts give this city its unique flavor, which draws people to us every year in the form of tourism and new residents.


Of course, San Diego arts encompass everything from the visual arts to the performing arts, from the Museum of Contemporary Art to the San Diego Symphony to California Ballet Company. Take a look around and you’ll see a flourishing arts community where the public is encouraged to explore, experiment, and expand their horizons!

Some fine examples of the arts San Diego are:Vadim300

  • The San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art
  • California Ballet Company
  • San Diego Repertory Theatre
  • Starlight Musical Theatre in Balboa Park
  • The San Diego Symphony
  • The Old Globe
  • The La Jolla Playhouse


And let’s not forget the amazing events that adorn our city’s Events Calendar every year from the Hillcrest Farmers’ Market where you can find arts and crafts of all sorts, to Street Scene where we can gather for a wide variety of music, to the Mainly Mozart Festival that annually serenades San Diego with classical music, to San Diego’s oldest and largest The Nutcracker produced by California Ballet.

That’s fairly impressive, isn’t it?

What happens if we don’t support our arts, and the San Diego arts scene begins to die?


If the city loses its arts, it loses a vital source of income which will have a domino effect across many other industries!

A few fact about the Arts Industry:

Nonprofit Arts Organizations stimulate the economy with over $180 million in direct expenditures.

Nonprofit Arts provide $83.8 million in salaries.

The arts sector supports a workforce of more than 6,300.

There are also over 11,607 volunteers who contribute time, talent, and resources.

Tourism is the first industry that would be hit:

  • In 2009, there were 29.6 million tourists to San Diego!
  • 2009 saw $6.9 Billion spent by tourists at local businesses!
  • The Tourism Industry was the third largest generator of revenue in 2009!

A portion of our T.O.T. (Transient Occupancy Tax) is given to arts organizations every year. The reason for this? San Diego’s unique cultural flavor is owed, in large part, to the arts you can find in our city. Many tourists make it a point to see shows, visit museums, and attend the symphony or ballet whenever they are in town.

A few facts about Cultural Tourists:

  • masks
  • Arts and Culture Tourists on average spend $246 per day versus the average tourist’s $116.
  • In 2008, over 1.6 million visitors traveled to San Diego for arts and culture-centric reasons.
  • Those 1.6 million people generated more than $394 million!

Take away the arts, and you remove a major reason for people to visit San Diego. The drop in tourism would result in a loss of:

dollar-sign Revenue for local businesses

Jobs in the service industry

Income for the city in the form of T.O.T.


This is just a brief overview of the impact the arts have on our community, but you get the idea. The flavor of our city, the economic stability, the job market, and more are all affected by the arts community.


This is why your support is so invaluable. When you support the arts, you are supporting your whole community!




California Ballet is once again taking an active role in San Diego’s cultural community! This year our fair city is hosting the Chopin Bicentennial Celebration, a festival celebrating the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth. In the spirit of cultural collaboration, California Ballet will be performing at the Balboa Theatre for two shows only on May 1st in our production, Chopin Tribute.

Join us for an afternoon or evening of romantic and neo-classical ballet as we perform a full program, including Les Sylphides and my new ballet Concerto Number One.

Tickets are available by phone at (858) 560-6741 or online at www.californiaballet.org.

California Ballet cannot thank you enough for all of your support and interest during our season, our fundraiser, and our 42-year legacy!

Maxine Mahon



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