Identifying the 40 most arts-vibrant communities across the U.S. based on data-informed indices
SMU DataArts recognizes that arts and cultural organizations are inextricably tied to their communities and combines data from nonprofit arts and cultural organizations with data for the communities in which they reside to identify factors that affect the health and sustainability of arts organizations across the nation.
The report provides insight into which counties across the United States have the highest scores on three key measures: Arts Providers, Arts Dollars, and Government Support, which can fluctuate year to year. Additionally, our interactive map provides scores for every county across the United States, allowing readers to explore and compare the differences with the latest available data.
After a brief hiatus, SMU DataArts, the National Center for Arts Research, is proud to once again release the Arts Vibrancy Index Report in its seventh iteration, celebrating arts-vibrant communities across the United States even as they grapple with the ongoing realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What factors make up a community's arts vibrancy, and which cities possess them? We provide scores for every county across the nation on measures of Arts Dollars, Arts Providers, Government Support, Socio-economic and Other Leisure characteristics. Explore and compare how these community characteristics drive performance as well as your community's relative strength on each characteristic.
Four cities make their debut on the list: Cincinnati, OH; Wilmington, DE; Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA; and Hailey, ID.
Eight cities reclaimed spots on the lists: Denver, CO (large); Ithaca, NY and Bremerton-Silverdale, WA (medium); and Steamboat Springs, CO, Vineyard Haven, MA, Hudson, NY, Greenfield Town, MA, and Breckenridge, CO (small).
More than 20 percent of the communities were entirely new to our lists this year, and four new states were represented: Florida, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota.
Eight communities (20%) were entirely new to our lists this year, and one new state was represented: Alaska. Four communities were new to the report on the top-10 medium community list: Bremerton-Silverdale, WA; Ithaca, NY; Asheville, NC; and Barnstable Town, MA. Four new small communities made the list for the first time – Hudson, NY; Greenfield Town, MA; Oneonta, NY; and Juneau, AK – and Vineyard Haven, MA makes a reappearance from the 2015 report.
Six communities (15%) from 3 new states were new to our lists this year: Hawaii, Oregon, and Texas. Three new communities – Portland, OR; Austin, TX; and Kansas City, MO – claim a spot on our top-20, large-MSA list, and three new communities – Maui, HI; St Cloud, MN; and Medford, OR – appear for the first time on our top-20 medium and small list.
No region has cornered the market on arts vibrancy. Cities large and small from every region appear in the top 40 cities. Having that said, there is high representation from Western communities in the set of Medium-Small cities.