Why a Strategic Plan for Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy?

Ventura County’s Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy Strategic Plan (ACCESP) is a recognition of the important impact the cultural and creative arts has on Ventura County’s economic vitality, social well-being, and overall prosperity.

Let’s start with the numbers:

According to the Economic Development Collaborative’s 2020 Report on the Creative Economy, the total economic impact of the 12 industries is over $3 billion, directly supporting over 12,000 jobs and presenting 3.8% value added as a share of the gross county product. We’ll be receiving and update to these numbers soon, but these numbers are significant.

Zooming out from the sheer economic impact, Ventura County’s arts and cultural experiences, combined with our natural amenities, are major demand drivers both for tourism and as an attractant/retention factor for businesses. The also contribute greatly to our quality of life. We are home international festivals and events; well-curated exhibits and performances take place year-round at our museums and performing arts centers; and a network of small businesses and instructors that provide fine and performing arts classes throughout our community.

Artist Atelier Clara Mari at her drafting table working on a series of sketches in her studio
Artist Atelier Clara Mari, Photo: Ventura County Coast

At the core of all this is our vibrant local arts and culture scene, driven by nonprofits, musicians, performers, and artists who create murals, pop-up markets, block parties, art experiences and more across our county. Here, we’ll also look at the social impact of arts and culture, understanding how creative opportunity supports the physical and mental health of both individuals and communities.

The County’s strategic plan aims to address critical issues such as creative sector employment, workforce development, policy, and understanding social impact of arts, culture, and creativity. By understanding and assessing these areas, we’ll identify strengths, challenges, and opportunities, ensuring our creative economy can not only compete on a national and international stage, but also create equitable opportunities to support our residents and businesses own creative pursuits.

The collaborative nature of the planning process, designed by our consultants CVL Economics, involves local governments, creative sector stakeholders, artists, community leaders, and residents, all to ensure the ACCESP will be comprehensive and inclusive. This engagement is vital for crafting a plan that not only reflects the community’s needs but also harnesses Ventura County’s diverse talents and perspectives.

Ultimately, Ventura County’s initiative to develop a strategic plan for arts, culture, and the creative economy is a forward-thinking move to cultivate a vibrant, resilient, and equitable creative sector.

We invite you to join us!