While the expressive arts are one of the main focus areas for the LAI, we see strong relationships with historic preservation as another important element of cultural identity. Historic homes and sites serve as an important element in the cultural and educational life of a community. They provide a sense of a community’s approach to heritage sites and provide a context for addressing questions, including: Are these historic sites of high value to a community? Is there ongoing investment in preservation? What is the correlation between the age of the community and the number of historic properties on the National Register? Who are the community actors who can help identify them?

This indicator measures the number of historic places per 100,000 people on the National Register of Historic Places, which is “the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation,” according to the Register’s web pages on the National Park Service site. The Register is in constant development, as new sites around the country are identified and evaluated, and then listed. In early 2011, there were about 86,000 sites in total.

Additional Information: Counties with indicator value = 3,069. Average county indicator value = 78.41. Median county indicator value = 43.03.


Fast Facts from the Arts Index

Consumer arts spending steady at $150 billion!

Since 2002, consumer spending on the arts has remained in the $150 billion range, though as a share of all expenditures it has slipped from 1.88% in 2002 to 1.45% in 2010. Following four years of decreases, musical instrument sales rebounded, growing from $5.9 billion in 2009 to $6.3 billion in 2010.