Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Santa Fe Ranked as Second Best Place for Artists

From the NM Business Weekly 4/3/2007:

Santa Fe has been ranked as No. 2 in the country for being among the best places for artists and other creative types to live.

The list, compiled by Sperling's Best Places and Businessweek.com, identifies metro areas with the highest concentrations of artistic business establishments, the percentage of people between the ages of 25 and 34, population diversity and a high concentration of museums, orchestras, dance companies, theater troupes, library resources and college arts programs.

The top spot was taken by Los Angeles. Carson City, Nev., snagged the No. 3 spot, followed by: New York City and Kingston, N.Y.; Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.; Nashville, Tenn.; Boulder, Colo.; San Francisco; and Nassau-Suffolk Counties in New York.

According to an economic impact study by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of New Mexico, Santa Fe's creative industries generate $1.1 billion annually and support 17.5 percent of the city's employment base. They pay $231.5 million in wage and salaries and about 78 percent of revenues in the creative industries ($814 million) come from outside Santa Fe County. They produce $22.6 million in city taxes and revenues and $13.4 million in county taxes and revenues.

All of this demonstrates that the City Different is a hub that offers social support and financial opportunities for people working in these fields, says Jackie M., chairman of Creative Santa Fe, a nonprofit that works to strengthen arts institutions and creative businesses in the city.

Santa Fe Mayor David Coss says the city's economic development strategy recognizes the importance of creative people and businesses to the city's growth.

"We want to continue to provide more affordable housing, business training, financial assistance and workforce training for people in creative industries," he said in a prepared statement.

He also noted that investments such as the new civic center, the railyard development and the Bataan Memorial arts complex will allow the expansion of several entities such as the Santa Fe Children's Museum and the Bataan Memorial Museum.

"This explosion of investment in Santa Fe's creative industries will improve the environment for artists and allow more creative business opportunities for our community," he added.

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