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Good reviews for City's arts, events

Michelle Braunschweig and her dog, Cillian, perform during Petpalooza this year. The popular event continues to attract thousands of people each year. - Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter
Michelle Braunschweig and her dog, Cillian, perform during Petpalooza this year. The popular event continues to attract thousands of people each year.
— image credit: Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter

Petpalooza, the Auburn Veterans Day Parade, the Bravo Performing Arts Series, the Santa Parade, Comedy Night at the Ave and Kids Day all have something in common.

Every one is under the wing of the City of Auburn's Parks, Arts and Recreation Department.

Director Daryl Faber on Monday presented City leaders with a smile-inducing report about the activities of his department in 2012.

Turns out that, besides being good for the well being of residents, according to the numbers in Faber's report, arts and events are good for the City's bottom line, too.

"I think things like museums, and libraries and arts and entertainment, when people are choosing where they want to live or locate their business, it really is important. I think we're really lucky here," Faber said.

The department's total expenses in 2012, inclusive of salaries, benefits, supplies, professional services, rentals and miscellaneous, came to $1.4 million, divided as follows:

• Cultural arts budget: $518,198

• Auburn Ave Theater budget: $513,669

• Special events budget: $341,098.

It employs 123 people on a full-time basis.

In 2012, 130,000 people attended City-sponsored events, which was worth an additional $185,000 in sales tax revenue.

Sixty-five percent of the attendees were Auburnites, 31 percent came from outside city limits. Out of the 15,000 people who attended, for example, Petpalooza Auburn's spring animal extravaganza at Game Park in 2012, 10,000 were out-of-towners. Out-of-towners, Faber noted, tend to spend a higher ratio of dollars when they are in town, for instance when they stop at an Auburn restaurant.

According to the report, arts and events generated $304,000 in 2012, and all of it went into the General Fund.

"Your department is really creating some regionally well-known events," said City Councilmember Largo Wales. "Petpalooza, the Fourth of July function and all of our parades, they're world class, they're great."

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