Art and culture are integral to Silicon Valley’s economic and civic future. Nonprofit arts and culture organizations are employers, creative producers, and a reflection of regional diversity and quality of life. These unique cultural activities have a significant local impact - attracting people to the area, generating business throughout the community and contributing to local revenues. Arts and culture volunteers in addition to in-kind donations (e.g., donated assets, office space) play a crucial role in supporting and enhancing these regional assets. Comparable data is available on the economic impact of arts and culture in Santa Clara County as a result of the Americans for the Arts III and IV reports.
In 2010, Santa Clara County's arts and culture industry supported more than 4,200 full-time equivalent jobs and generated more than $5.4 million in local government revenue. The county supported 320 more full-time equivalent jobs in 2010 compared to 2005, though local government revenue decreased ten percent over the same time period. Total spending by the nonprofit arts and culture organizations and audiences was also down ten percent in 2010, but the amount still totaled over $167 million.
Santa Clara County's in-kind contributions to arts and culture organizations in total amount and per capita both increased between 2005 and 2010. Total contributions in 2010 amounted to more than $7.9 million, up 20 percent from 2005. Per capita contributions in the region increased 14 percent over the five years to $4.4 per capita. However, total contributions at the county level fall behind a number of regions, including Chicago ($9.3) and Portland ($4.7), but remain above Pittsburgh ($3.4).
Santa Clara County maintains a strong position in volunteerism, with more average volunteers per organization than large regions such as Chicago and Portland, though fewer than other regions such as Austin. Santa Clara County had roughly 19 fewer volunteers per organization compared to 2005 with an average of 109 volunteers per organization in 2010.
In 2010, arts and culture events drew 45 percent more attendees compared to major professional and collegiate sports teams in the area. These 2.7 million people in the audience spent nearly $62 million, over half of which was spent locally.