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‘Vacation Artfully’ campaign aims to make Pensacola arts and culture destination

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Date: March 21, 2018

A new marketing campaign will try to draw tourists to Pensacola to experience the city’s arts, entertainment and culture scene in the winter months.

Art, Culture, and Entertainment Inc., a nonprofit organization formed to promote the arts in Pensacola, announced its “Vacation Artfully” marketing campaign on Tuesday.

David Bear, vice president of the Lewis Bear Co. and trustee emeritus of ACE, said Pensacola has an opportunity to draw more visitors in the traditional off-season months by highlighting its history, arts and cultural events put on throughout the year.

The new marketing campaign was announced at a lunch presentation at the Lewis Bear Co., where Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner and Sandy Shaughnessy, director of the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, highlighted the economic impact of arts and culture spending.

The Florida Secretary of State is usually known for being the state’s chief election officer, but the position also serves as Florida’s chief cultural officer and oversees the Division of Cultural Affairs.

Detzner said the total economic impact of arts and culture in Florida is $4.68 billion.

“That’s real money,” Detzner said. “That’s real impact in our communities.”

Detzner said Florida is on a better trajectory of economic growth than any other state, and businesses look at what art and cultural offering communities have when they decide to move there.

“When you come to this community, you see it. You feel it, and you know it’s there,” Detzner said of Pensacola.

Economist Rick Harper, who is also a board member of ACE, presented findings from a survey and study that looked at spending surrounding the arts and culture festival known as Foo Foo Fest.

Harper said according to a survey, people on average stayed an additional two days in Pensacola because of the festival.

He also looked at the total economic impact of arts and cultural organization spending, which he said created $89 million in new economic activity and supported 2,900 jobs in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

The “Vacation Artfully” campaign aims to increase that and make Pensacola a year-round destination, Bear said.

The campaign will highlight events like Foo Foo Fest, which occurs in November, and other offerings like the Pensacola Opera, Ballet Pensacola, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra and the Pensacola Museum of Art.

“What separates us from most other beach towns is our arts and culture and our heritage,” Bear said. “So, we want to show the rest of the world — the rest of the region — what we’ve got to offer here, and invite them here to enjoy it.”

Jim Little can be reached at and 850-208-9827.


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