How much buck for your art? Laguna seeks to know

For the third time, the city of Laguna Beach is part of a study measuring the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences.

Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit advancing the arts and education within the field, is conducting the Arts & Prosperity 5 research study.

This will be the fifth study in 20 years that will measure the impact of arts spending on local jobs, income paid to residents, and revenue generated to local and state governments.


A prior study in 2010 concluded that the nonprofit arts and culture industry in Laguna was worth $49.1 million, supporting more than 1,300 full-time jobs. The report also noted that tourists in Laguna spent $50.36 per person at arts events, excluding admission prices, which exceeded the national average of $24.60.

As one of nearly 300 study partners in every state and Washington, D.C., Laguna Beach will collect detailed financial data about its local nonprofit arts and culture organizations. The city will survey attendees at arts events using a short, anonymous questionnaire that asks how much money they spent on items such as meals, parking and transportation, and retail shopping specifically as a result of attending the event.

Surveys will be collected throughout 2016, and results will be released in June 2017.

It is important city leaders have independent data to make decisions affecting the arts, Laguna’s Cultural Arts Manager Sian Poeschl wrote in an email.

“We will have three studies to compare, which is especially useful in that we can see the recovery of the arts industry after the recession and be able to make evaluations,” Poeschl said.

The city and its hotels are funding the survey.