SMU DataArts - Cultural Data Profile


National Center for Arts Research Releases Arts Vibrancy Index Report II

  • Posted Mar 30, 2016

SMU’s National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) today released its second annual Arts Vibrancy Index, which, using DataArts data, ranks more than 900 communities across the country, examining the level of supply, demand, and government support for the arts in each city. This year, the report features six new communities, with three states – Hawaii, Oregon and Texas – appearing in the index for the first time. The new cities featured on the lists are Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; and Kansas City, Missouri, in the top 20 large cities list; and Maui, Hawaii; St. Cloud, Minnesota; and Medford, Oregon, in the top 20 small and medium cities list.

NCAR provides rank scores on all measures for every U.S. county on its heat map.

 “Each community in the report has a unique story and cultural landscape – this report is designed to help us understand what makes a city vibrant in the arts and the different elements that come into play to foster that vibrancy,” said Dr. Zannie Giraud Voss, Ph.D., director of NCAR, and chair and professor of arts management and arts entrepreneurship in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business. “The data helps illustrate how vibrancy varies between cities and what arts vibrancy looks like for different communities around the nation.”

The overall index is composed of three dimensions. Supply is assessed by the total number of arts providers in the community, including the number of arts organizations, independent artists, and arts, culture, and entertainment employees. Demand is gauged by the total nonprofit arts dollars in the community, including program revenue, contributed revenue, total expenses, and total compensation. Lastly, the level of government support is based on state arts dollars and grants and federal arts dollars and grants.

Geographically, the rankings utilize Micro- and Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), which are delineated geographic areas consisting of one or more counties that have high social and economic integration with an urban core as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). By focusing on MSAs, the index captures the network of suburbs that rise up around a city or town rather than considering each separately. Where the OMB breaks down very large MSAs into Metropolitan Divisions, this report does, too.

Read the full report here.

Click here to download the full report.