Arts education is delivered in arts conservatories and academies as well as colleges and universities. Across the country, the number of institutions granting associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees grew to 2,219 from 1,809 between 2002 and 2013. Of these, 1,256 are accredited by the National Office for Arts Accreditation. This includes schools of music, art and design, theatre, and dance.

This indicator measures the number of accredited schools in each community using the schools’ zip code location data, which we aggregated in counties using the “zip-to-FIPS” procedure described in the Methodology section. There are accredited programs in 508 counties. The indicator describes the number of accredited degree-granting programs for every 100,000 county residents.


Additional Information: Average county indicator value = 1.97. Median county indicator value = 1.12.


Fast Facts from the Arts Index

International cultural tourism proves recession-proof. Arts travelers are ideal tourists—they stay longer and spend more.  The U.S. Dept of Commerce reports that the percentage of int’l travelers including museum visits on their trip has grown annually since 2003 (17% to 24%), while those including concerts and theater performances have increased five of the past seven years (13% to 17% since 2003).