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logo-smuThe new National Center for Arts Research has just posted their first report, which the intro describes as “evidence-based insights from our inaugural exploration into the health of US arts and cultural organizations.”

Whew! For data wonks and culture vultures who want a glimpse at how the arts are faring nationally, this is a meaty report, based on five years of arts and cultural data. The study looked at a whopping 55,341 arts and cultural organizations to assess their health  (financial, operational, and engagement health) within 189 metro and micro geographic/statistical areas. They dug deeper to examine the arts ecosystem—the interdependent relationships individual artists, arts organizations, communities and audience in each of these markets. 

What did they find? A few tidbits:   

– The average organization had an operating deficit in 2012. Arts educational organizations fared better; museums had the highest deficits. 

– Local, national or world premieres all lead to higher attendance and levels of engagement.

– Organizations that target kids have a larger footprint . . . BUT

– Attendance is lower when there is a high proportion of the population under 25.

– Having more hotels in the market led to higher performance on every measure—hotels bring visitors to the city. . .

– And here’s a curious one pertinent to our region—Performance on most outcomes is lower when there is a higher concentration in the community with a graduate degree.

Continued Reading:

You can read the highlights online:  
http://mcs.smu.edu/artsresearch/report-highlights

OR the whole report: 
http://www.smu.edu/~/media/Site/Meadows/NCAR/NCAR%20Inaugural%20Report

Article by Cindy Clair, Executive Director at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven

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