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Media Contact: Erica Benken | erica.benken@giantnoise.com | 210-387-8224


New Arts Collective to Raise Awareness of the Economic Impact and Importance of Culture and Arts in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS (OCT. 27, 2020) – In response to the global coronavirus pandemic, more than 40 advocates and leaders from San Antonio’s culture and arts organizations have joined forces to create Culture and Arts United for San Antonio (CAUSA), a collective designed to raise public awareness of the value of arts and culture to San Antonio’s economic and cultural vibrancy. Celebrated for its rich traditions, the Alamo City’s culture is rooted in the arts. Embodied with the themes Creativity Counts and Better Together, CAUSA’s mission is to inspire new and ongoing support of the arts in San Antonio.

Art and culture are an integral part of San Antonio’s DNA. While the city continues to fight the ongoing battle with COVID-19, its artists, local organizations and institutions are struggling to keep the arts alive in the face of the harsh economic impact of a global pandemic. As San Antonio continues to reopen and rebuild, it is inherently important that the city’s beloved artists and organizations receive renewed and continued support from its community. CAUSA’s goal is to provide the community with the knowledge and tools needed to maintain the culture and arts communities of San Antonio by highlighting their widespread value and economic impact. By calling attention to virtual or in-person classes and projects, visits to local museums and performing arts venues, as well as the widespread employment these organizations provide to hundreds of individuals, CAUSA demonstrates the  need  for arts and culture in our communities today and the power of collective local and statewide advocacy efforts.

“The arts play a vital role in the economic development of this city and region,” said Dr. Steve Nivin, Ph.D. “Based on responses to the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) ‘COVID-19 Impact Survey’[1] by 91 arts organizations in Bexar County, as of October 19, 2020, the total financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on these organizations is estimated at $19,539,992. Additionally, 13% of the organizations are not confident they will survive the economic effects of the pandemic. It is vital that these organizations return to healthy and sustainable levels of economic activity not only for their wellbeing, but the local economy as a whole.”

Based on the results stemming from the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) “COVID-19 Impact Survey,” the overall economic impact to the local economy based on the data provided by these 91 organizations is estimated to be $62,412,942. In 2020, the State of Texas is estimated to see a reduction in their revenues of $1,186,186 and revenues to the federal government from the decline in arts-related economic activity in Bexar County is estimated to be $4,427,073. The purpose of the analysis was to provide an estimate of the economic and fiscal impacts derived from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the operations of arts organizations and the decreased attendance at arts events. The results of this study do not provide a wholly comprehensive value of the economic impact to arts organizations in San Antonio as it does not survey all organizations within the community; however, the study does provide a dire glimpse and accurate depiction of the reality of the coronavirus pandemic’s economic impact on the arts and many organizations within the city. 

“As individual local arts organizations worked to deal with the multitude of serious issues due to the pandemic: funding, programs, exhibits, safety, and more – we quickly recog;nized that collectively we could learn, grow, and heal,” said Jon Hinojosa, co-founder of CAUSA, Executive & Artistic Director of Say Si. “Working with our local partners we wanted to remind ourselves and the community of the transformative positive impact the Arts has on us all.”  

CAUSA is led by Cristina Balli (Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center), Doren Fein (Las Casas Foundation), Elyse Gonzales (Ruby City), Mary Heathcott (Blue Star Contemporary), Jon Hinojosa (SAY Si), Marise McDermott (Witte Museum), Paula Owen (Southwest School of Art), Cassandra Parker-Nowicki (Carver Community Cultural Center), and Riley Robinson (Artpace). Additional key partners include the San Antonio Museum of Art, The Briscoe Western Art Museum, the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, the McNay Art Museum, the San Antonio Symphony, CENTRO San Antonio, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Alexander E. Briseño Leadership Development Program (ABLDP) and others.

“San Antonio’s power is in its culture and in its people, and that is where we will find our resiliency as well, Elizabeth Fauerso, CMO Pearl. “The role that our arts organizations play in the preservation of, creation of, and regeneration of our unique city culture cannot be overstated. It is through the creation of and participation in our visual and performing arts that we declare who we are as a city, and when we lose our creative class and creative spaces, we become poorer in every measure. As someone deeply invested in placemaking and in the revitalizing of our center city, I believe that the responsibility to support our creative institutions rests on all our shoulders and that we must prioritize ongoing structural support for our creative ecosystem.” 

For more information on CAUSA or to get involved, visit creativitycountssa.com. To follow along with CAUSA on social media, follow @creativitycountssa and #CreativityCountsSA.


About CAUSA:
Culture and Arts United for San Antonio (CAUSA) was created in 2020 by more than 40 locally-based arts organizations and advocates to raise public awareness of the value of arts and culture to San Antonio’s economic and cultural vibrancy. The organization’s goal is to restore participation and support from key stakeholders and decision-makers in San Antonio, as well as to inspire the contribution and participation of new donors and continued funding through the local government and other relevant partners. For more information on CAUSA, visit creativitycountssa.com.

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