There is no single paradigm or standard for what constitutes the “arts community” in any place; in fact, the populations of arts organizations differ from place to place around the U.S. One way in which they vary is the mix of commercial and nonprofit organizations.

This indicator measures that blend of arts and business as the arts nonprofits’ share of all arts establishments. The first figure, total arts nonprofits, comes from the 2010 Core data used in other LAI indicators; the second figure, total arts-centric businesses, is from the “Creative Industries” data collected in 2011 by Dun & Bradstreet. To be clear, this indicator measures numbers of organizations, not revenues or expenses.

A large or small share of arts organizations is not a matter of strength or weakness for any given arts community so much as it is an element of individual character or nature. Many major perspectives of arts success are based primarily on the nonprofit arts sector, but commercial arts companies surely make very significant contributions to the makeup of the arts in communities, such as when a well-known nightspot or commercial gallery is a significant part of a community’s arts identity.

 

Additional Information: Counties with indicator value = 2,538. Average county indicator value = 11%. Median county indicator value = 7%.

 

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).