Arts & Culture

Arts and culture are related to a society’s sense of community, its ability to attract visitors and tourism, and its ability to generate local revenues. The arts can be a good way to engage citizens, especially youth, in civic engagement. This can involve restoring a decaying building or beautifying an urban space with murals and other art. While many arts and culture organizations are non-profit, the visitors these organizations attract to the area not only support these non-profits but also all other businesses in the area. For example, patrons of a live performance might spend money at a local restaurant. Likewise a family visiting a museum might also stay at a local hotel. Spending on the arts includes the purchase of theater and movie tickets, playing and listening to music, attending museums and art galleries, and more.

This graph shows the participation rate in the arts & culture for the NSJV counties measured as the number of arts & culture activities done per day. Arts & culture activities include activities such as attending a live performance, visiting a museum, and playing musical instruments. San Joaquin County has the highest participation rate in the NSJV. Merced County was the only NSJV County to see its arts & culture participation rate decline between 2009-2011 and 2012-2014.

Americans for the Arts

This graph shows the amount per year consumers spend on arts & culture activities for the NSJV, its component counties and the surrounding regions. NSJV residents spend almost $285 per year on arts & culture activities. This still lags behind the Sacramento area which spends almost $400 per year on arts & culture activities, although it is residents of the NSJV spend more than residents of the South San Joaquin Valley. A possible reason for the larger expenditures in the Sacramento area is that there are simply more arts & culture activities available in Sacramento for residents to spend money on. There are almost twice as many arts & culture businesses per 100,000 residents in Sacramento than in the NSJV.

Data for this indicator was obtained from the Americans for the Arts’ Arts Index. A weighted average of the data was calculated using 1-year population data from the American Community Survey.

This graph shows the percent of all establishments in the three NSJV counties that are dedicated to arts & culture. Arts & culture establishments make up a less a very small percent of total establishments in the NSJV, and this percent has been decreasing since 2011. While the percent of establishments dedicated to arts & culture is certainly not huge in any region, the percent of establishments dedicated to arts & culture in Stanislaus County is almost four times smaller than the percent of establishments dedicated to arts & culture in San Francisco. This could be due to the wealthier population of the Bay Area being able to better support an arts & culture sector.

This graph shows the number of libraries and museums present in California, the NSJV and its component counties per 100,000 residents. Even in the age of the internet, libraries are an important resource for learning, entertainment, and community. Likewise, there is a multitude of research showing the benefits of museums including immersive learning experience and offering a unique environments for children and entertainment for adults. There are approximately 3 more libraries and museums per 100,000 residents in California than in the NSJV. Like establishments dedicated to arts & culture, this may be the result of higher incomes in other areas of California being able to support more libraries and museums. Merced County has the highest concentration of libraries and museums in the NSJV.