The 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.
You can read the highlights online:
OR the whole report:
Article by Cindy Clair, Executive Director at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven