Statewide tourism spending hits all-time high

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced May 5 that travel spending in California hit an all-time high of $150.4 billion in 2023, outdoing the previous record of $144.9 billion spent in 2019.

The state has retained its title as the world’s fifth largest economy and has had a population increase, according to the governor. Both of these are directly tied to California’s tourism and entertainment industries, the governor said in an announcement released at 7:43am Sunday.

“From our world-renowned coastline, to the world’s tallest trees, to our iconic cities and theme parks, California is the nation’s coming attraction. Visitors from all over the world are coming here to experience the wonder of the Golden State, boosting our economy and creating good-paying jobs for years to come,” the governor said.

The governor’s office shared the information via a statement released Sunday morning. Visit California CEO Caroline Beteta concurrently released the announcement. The governor also released a video recorded at the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Call for artists

The San Benito County Arts Council is accepting submissions for “California Dreamin’,” an exhibition of visual artworks focused on summer nostalgia, created by local and regional artists. This exhibition will be displayed at The Art Depot at 35 Fifth St. in downtown Hollister from June 8-July 19.

All local artists are invited to submit artwork for consideration in this exhibition that will celebrate the essence of summertime nostalgia, sunshine and the iconic California Dream, says a press release from the Arts Council. Artists of all mediums—including paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture and all other 2D and 3D art forms—are encouraged to apply to participate in this vibrant art show. This is an opportunity for artists to gain exposure and connect with fellow creatives.

Artist applications must be submitted online by visiting The deadline to apply is 11pm May 6. Artists will be notified of participation on May 10. 

Apply to show work in this show at

To learn more about this exhibition or for general information, contact the Arts Council at 831.636.2787 or at [email protected].

Summer Art Camp starts June 25

Local youth will have a chance to unlock or expand their creative prowess and delve into different artistic styles, mediums and techniques at the San Benito County Arts Council’s Summer Art Camp. 

Registration is now open for the youth camp, which starts June 25 and continues through July 25, with each week focusing on a different subject area. Week 1 (June 25-27) is Paint Party Camp; Week 2 (July 1-3) is for Skateboard Design; Week 3 (July 9-11) is titled Mural Masters; Week 4 (July 16-18) is Creating with Clay; and Week 5 (July 23-25) is another Paint Party Camp. 

Summer Art Camp takes place at the Art Depot, 35 Fifth St., Ste. D in downtown Hollister. The cost is $65 per student per camp, with a $10 sibling discount. All materials will be provided. 

Camps run Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays unless otherwise noted. Ages 6-8 attend 9:30-11am; and ages 9 to teens attend 12-1:30pm. 

To register online and view the full class schedule and descriptions, visit

Single camp scholarships available for qualifying San Benito County students, according to the Arts Council. Email [email protected] to inquire about a scholarship application.

Annual Life Skills Art Show

Students, families and community members are invited to attend the reception for the Annual Life Skills Art Show, from 5-7pm May 17 at the Art Depot, 35 Fifth Street in downtown Hollister

The exhibition, hosted by the San Benito County Arts Council, features artworks from Hollister High School special needs students and adults with disabilities from Hope Services who participate in the Arts Council’s Life Skills Art Program. 

The exhibition will run from April 30-May 17.

As part of the Arts Council’s Arts in Education Program, Life Skills Art is led by teaching artist Louise Roy to engage students in a wide-range of art-making activities, projects and collaborative learning, says a press release from the Arts Council.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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