Arts Mean Business

Texas arts pump record-breaking billions into Lone Star State

Texas arts pump record-breaking billions into Lone Star State

Tobin Center for the Performing Arts interior stage seats San Antonio theater
The arts mean business in Texas. Photo by Ed LaCasse Photography

The arts mean big bucks for the Lone Star State. Texas Cultural Arts recently released the 2017 State of the Arts report, which shows that the arts and culture industry, encompassing everything from music and entertainment to architecture and engineering, pumped a record-breaking $5.5 billion into the Texas economy last year, which translates to $343.7 million in annual sales tax revenue.

"We know the arts are important to our culture and our society, and this report affirms they are increasingly important to our economy as well," says Judy Robison, chair of the Texas Cultural Trust, in a release.

The financial impact of the arts has increased 25.1 percent in the past 10 years. Additionally, the creative sector employs 1-in-15 Texans, and that number is expected to increase by 20 percent in 2024. Six percent of the San Antonio workforce is involved in the arts industry. On average, those workers make $41,848 for non-creative positions and $73,298 for creative positions.

Jennifer Ransom Rice, executive director of the Texas Cultural Trust, sums it up: "The arts mean business in Texas." Here's the breakdown of what the arts sector generated in Texas' largest metros in 2016:

Austin-Round Rock: $502,195,150   
Dallas-Plano-Irving: $1,267,565,172
Fort Worth-Arlington: $332,935,945
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown: $1,025,314,133
San Antonio: $330,844,451