SMU DataArts - Cultural Data Profile

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ForEvery County in America

The Hotbeds of America’s Arts and Culture

Identifying the 40 most arts-vibrant communities in America based on data-informed indices.

What We Found

2019 Arts Vibrancy Index includes four new cities. Each city is ranked by per capita supply, demand, and government support for the arts.

The Year's Key Findings

  • Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY, is new to the index and is featured in the top-20, large metropolitan area list.
  • Charlottesville, VA and Boulder, CO, also new to the index, are featured in the top 10 medium cities list.
  • Brookings, SD, is making its debut in the top 10 small cities list.
  • 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). 

Read the Full List

Map: Every County in America, Ranked

What factors make up a community's arts vibrancy, and which cities possess them? We provide scores for every county's Arts Dollars, Arts Providers, Government Support, Socio-economic and Other Leisure characteristics. This way, when you read in the SMU DataArts report how these community characteristics drive performance, you can also see your community's relative strength on each characteristic. The scores are on a scale of 0-100 with 100 being highest. The scores are akin to percentiles - i.e., if your county's score on a measure is 56, it means it did better than 56% of counties on that measure.

Find Your County

Large Arts and Cultural Institutions Make Northwest Arkansas a Major Arts Community in America

A new study commissioned by the Walton Family Foundation and led by Zannie and Glenn Voss of SMU DataArts examines the arts vibrancy of Northwest Arkansas. The study found that since 2013, arts vibrancy in the region has increased overall, due to an established core of large arts and cultural institutions, such as Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville. However, the study also shows that the area severely lacks independent artists and small arts and cultural organizations.

Read More

New Study Predicts Changes to Come for Arts & Cultural Organizations in Houston, Texas

By 2045, the number of Hispanic individuals in the Greater Houston area is expected to outnumber all other ethnic groups combined, and the shift to a majority-minority population is already present as non-Hispanic white individuals comprise less than half of the population in Texas, according to the Texas Demographic Center. These demographic changes call for a rapid evolution from arts and cultural organizations as they already under-represent the area’s diverse population in workforce as well as audiences.

Houston Endowment White Paper Blog

Where is my city?

The Arts Vibrancy Map