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Top 5 Large Communities
New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ
Spanning the five boroughs of New York City, six counties in New Jersey, and three Hudson Valley counties, the diversity of arts experiences is what makes this area unique. Visitors and residents alike can experience a variety of artistic offerings in virtually all genres and from numerous cultural perspectives. Venues range from large, internationally known icons to more locally-focused, small organizations, which not surprisingly, ranks New York 3rd in the country on overall Arts Providers and 5th on Arts Dollars per capita. Nearly every measure of both Arts Providers and Arts Dollars is in the top 1% or better.
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA
This arts and cultural landscape is permeated by organizations of every size and sector, many of which are clustered in neighborhoods and highly regarded near and far. There is strong support for individual artists, in large part due to ART BIAS, which helps provide artist studios, professional development events, exhibition opportunities, and encourages a thriving community of artists interested in each other’s success. Additionally, many employees of tech companies direct their giving to the arts. On a per capita basis, San Francisco is in the top 1% on Arts Providers and Arts Dollars overall, including every sub-measure of Arts Dollars.
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA
Today, Los Angeles boasts more artists and more arts, culture, and entertainment firms per capita than any other community in the U.S., ranking 1st on Arts Providers and independent artists. The vast wealth and subsequent generosity of early entrepreneurs resulted in Los Angeles becoming home to some of the world’s most important art museums and collections. Strong financial support from the city has helped to build a diverse and vibrant arts community. Additionally, government funded arts education programs have been developed with a particular emphasis on inclusion, diversity, equity, excellence, and accessibility.
Minneapolis - St. Paul - Bloomington, MN-WI
The region’s renowned advertising sector boasts music, literary, and publishing professionals, as well as funding foundations, a dynamic group of theaters, orchestra, performance and dance troupes, and many individual artists. This region ranks 4th in the nation in Government Support and 3rd for state arts dollars per capita. Additionally, expanded support for Native American, African American, Asian, and Latinx voices has become a priority for this community.
Washington - Arlington - Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
While this region has many small and medium-sized arts and cultural organizations, Washington D.C. is particularly rich in large sized organizations that renowned around the world for their excellence. Overall, this Metropolitan Division ranks 3rd in Arts Dollars, 1st in contributed revenue, 1st in total expenses, and 2nd in total compensation, indicating that the arts sector provides a great amount of economic impact.
Other MSAs in the Top 20 Largest MSAs include Boston, Newark, Philadelphia, Portland, New Orleans, and more!
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Top 5 Medium Communities
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe, NM is a cultural haven. There are more artists, writers, and designers that work here than just about any city in the country and it is home to one of the largest arts markets in the country. Regardless of community size, Santa Fe is actually the number one most arts-vibrant community across the nation, ranking in the top 1% of communities on overall Arts Providers, Arts Dollars, and Government Support. To this day, this community celebrates its historical background, showcasing native arts as a cultural mainstay.
Also known as the Berkshires, the creative economy of this region is one of the five pillars of 1Berkshire’s county-wide economic development strategy. The abundance of renowned arts and cultural activity and support drives Pittsfield to rank in the top 1% of communities on overall Arts Providers, Arts Dollars, and Government Support. Its strengths are reflected in rankings within the top 2% or better in almost all underlying measures.
San Rafael, CA
Novato, San Rafael, and Mill Valley are Marin County’s largest cities and each has its own set of arts organizations and is home to several world-class musicians, internationally recognized artists, authors, and performers. Downtown San Rafael was recently designated a California Cultural District and hosts galleries, artist studios, theaters, arts education venues, and other cultural institutions, which is reflected in scoring within the top 1% on Arts Providers and Arts Dollars.
Missoula, MT has an engaged and active population, who are just as likely to participate in outdoor activities in its beautiful countryside as they are to attend a theater production. The entertainment industry has grown dramatically in recent years, in large part due to 2 distinct outdoor amphitheaters that seat 4,000+ viewers. The wide array of arts experiences, festivals, support, and over 60 arts and cultural organizations throughout the area are reflected in its ranking as 4th on Arts Providers and in the top 7% on Arts Dollars overall.
Appearing as one of the top arts-vibrant communities for the first time, Charlottesville is steeped in American history and its arts vibrancy is intertwined with that of the University of Virginia, which continuously attracts a wealth of new talent to the area. There are experiences available for all interests and all ages, which is reflected in its ranking in the top 2% of Arts Providers and Arts Dollars, with particular strength in per capita contribution revenue among arts and cultural organizations as well as the per capita number of arts and culture employees.
Other MSAs in the Top 10 Medium MSAs include Ithaca, Burlington, Boulder, Asheville, and Bremerton!
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Top 5 Small Communities
Jackson, WY - ID
This mountain community of great beauty and innovation encompasses both Teton County, ID and Teton County, WY where all art forms are represented. Nurturing the artistic core of Jackson is a 78,000-sq.-ft. campus that has created a constant flow of artistic and educational offerings hosted by individual artists and resident organizations throughout the year. Additionally, community-focused initiatives have helped to generate a reliable set of donors from the individual level, foundation grants, and government funding, which is reflected in its ranking in the top 1% on Arts Providers and Government Support.
Summit Park, UT
Famously known for hosting the Sundance Film Festival, which is the largest independent film festival in the U.S., Summit Park is also a very popular tourist destination. Because of that, a holistic approach went towards further developing the arts and cultural offerings to establish and promote the area as a world-class cultural tourist destination that provides visitors and residents alike a vibrant and thriving creative community.
Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs returns to the arts vibrancy list after a two year hiatus, bringing with it as reminder of the unique nature of this arts community. Since its founding, the community has been highly involved in the arts and has become more and more innovative in its projects and initiatives. Individual and local business support for the arts remains strong while local government support expands as the arts reveal to be an important element in overall economic activity.
Home to a diverse population of visual performing artists who are community oriented and take part in public art projects, individual showings, and nonprofit events, Bennington’s economy is largely defined by the arts. Avant-garde expression is being fervently cultivated at Bennington College where many stand-out visual and performing artists study. Bennington has been identified as one of the top 10 most vibrant small arts communities in the U.S. for the fourth year in a row, ranking 12th on overall Arts Providers, 13th on Arts Dollars, and 20th on Government Support in the 2019 Arts Vibrancy Index Report.
Vineyard Haven, MA
Returning to the Arts Vibrancy Index Report from 2017, Vineyard Haven encompasses Martha’s Vineyard and neighboring islands. It ranks 3rd in arts and cultural organizations, 8th on contributed revenue, 5th on federal arts dollars and 4th on federal grants per capita. Crafts, such as wooden ship building, sign making, and jewelry making merges with fine arts such as theater, film, photography, music, and performing arts to make a vibrant and unique arts community.
Other MSAs in the Top 10 Small MSAs include Hudson, Brookings, Oneonta, Greenfield Town, and Breckenridge!
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What Does Arts Vibrancy Mean?
Arts vibrancy scores include data from the following sources: U.S. Census Bureau, SMU DataArts, IRS 990s, Theatre Communications Group, the National Endowment for the Arts, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and Institute of Museum and Library Services.