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San Antonio's Economic Growth Tied To Creative Industry Success

The arts are growing in San Antonio, and have grown each year since the recession ended.

This year's Economic Impact of the Creative Industry on San Antonio report shows a slight but significant increase over last year, just one to two percent, but Dr. Steve Nivin at St. Mary’s University said the increase has been steady over the past few years. 

Nivin tracks the trends as a way to reflect San Antonio's overall economic health, and he said the report informs businesses that want to move to San Antonio. He said the arts have a hidden contribution to regional development and provide the growth foundation for the community. 

“By that I mean that it really supports the development of a lot of other industries, pretty much any industry that you can think of," Nivin said. "Construction companies need graphic designers and architects that design the buildings and the photographers to take the pictures of what they built. So if San Antonio is going to grow its overall economy, we really need this industry to continue to grow and develop as well."

Nivin said all businesses need photography, as well as other creative output such as the graphic arts and writing. He includes them in the creative industry here, as well as the fine arts that contribute to quality of life, such as museums and art galleries, and performance. Nivin expects more growth in the sector next year with the opening of the Tobin Performing Arts Center.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.