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

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).