Museums Pacific Standard Time USA

PST added $290.5m to California economies

Study estimates millions in revenue to state and city governments, but Getty is cautious about flaunting findings

They really know how to put on a show: PST opening celebrations at the Getty Center last year

Pacific Standard Time (PST), the Getty-funded collaboration of southern California’s institutions, is estimated to have added $280.5m to the local economy, according to an economic impact study released by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation today, 1 November. Published a little over a year after the art extravaganza opened, the study also found that museums and galleries taking part in PST spent a total of $29m during the six-month initiative, but this resulted in $111.5m in spending by the estimated 1.8 million visitors to all the exhibitions and events. Around 2,490 jobs were supported by the project, creating $101.3m in income and $19.4m in tax revenues to state and local governments.

Without any comparative data, the Getty is being cautious about publicising the report’s findings. In a survey conducted by The Art Newspaper earlier this year, we found that attendance to the various exhibitions was patchy, with some museums reporting a boost to their visitor numbers, while others saw little change. Jim Cuno, the president of the Getty Trust, is due to hold a press conference today with the mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa, to talk about the report’s findings. He told the Los Angeles Times that while “it appears that the numbers are good, and it's worth sharing those numbers with the general public”, any revenue generated was “a byproduct” of PST’s mission, to document and preserve the region's artistic legacy.

The full report can be downloaded at http://www.getty.edu/foundation

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