By Shirin Rajaee

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — This week the city of Sacramento is unveiling a new plan to improve its art scene.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg is holding a press conference Wednesday morning where he’ll be revealing his arts and culture vision for the city and a possible financial investment.

Those in support of the plan say more arts means big business.

“I think it adds character to the city, it’s really nice to come relax and listen to music,” said Vicky Albaugh who was visiting Old Sacramento on Monday.

Albaugh was listening to the smooth sounds of Henry Price’s saxophone. Price is a street performer who has been playing for 30 years.

“This is what I enjoy doing and I get some money for it,” said Price.

Artists like Price are a key part of making Sacramento’s downtown streets more entertaining, and they make their money through donations.

“It’s a way for street performers to make money to help pay their rent, it’s also a way for us to get entertained and to draw people to the area,” said Bryce Hagaman.

The push for more street performers, known as buskers, is just one way the city is looking to elevate and expand arts in the community.

Last year’s mural festival was also a big success.

“We’re really encouraging artists to come here and live here, to actually work here and make a living,” said Sacramento’s Convention and Cultural Services Director, Jody Ulich.

“I think if the city is cool, economic innovation and recovery will follow it,” said David Sobon with the city’s arts commission.

So how do the arts affect the economy?

According to a city study, 28 percent of art patrons come from out of town and cultural tourists spend about $30 per person generating an extra $112 million for the local economy each year.

“The money and the economy that gets driven by the arts goes into the community, so we buy local and we sell local,” said Ulich.

This week the city is considering a nearly quarter million dollar investment focused on creating a more diverse and creative economy, through not only the arts, but through food and technology.

“Those are the kinds of things that are gonna make a community so much more vibrant and great,” said Ulich.

The three-phase plan can take 18 months.

Mayor Steinberg is set to speak about the plan Wednesday at 11 a.m. at 1108 R St in Sacramento.


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