Many counties host institutions providing professional (post-secondary) arts training. Two indicators examine that aspect of the arts, one looking at the number of arts degrees awarded in counties around the country, and the second at the kinds of arts training institutions that are in each county.

Higher education provides many avenues for interaction with community arts and culture. One is the campus as an arts and culture destination for local arts audiences. Secondly, arts students in a community are especially likely to consume and participate in arts and culture activities of-campus. A third is through the community life of the faculty, who may have studios or be part of local ensembles. All these together make campuses with arts programs centers of activity that both radiate into the community, and invite the community in.

These indicators can help understand the ways in which “town and gown” relate to each other around issues of arts and culture. The number of arts students and the presence of recognized arts education institutions can be a part of developing and promoting the image of a particular community. Community leaders can seek ways to improve their interactions with cultural life on campus.



Fast Facts from the Arts Index

Demand for arts in education by college-bound students is up!

According to data published by The College Board, the share of SAT test-takers with 4 years of arts or music classes in high school has grown over the past decade from 15% to 20%. The number of college arts degrees conferred annually have risen steadily from 75,000 to 129,000 over the past dozen years.