State governments are important supporters of arts and culture, reaching communities, organizations, and artists through a variety of funding programs. State arts agencies are funded by allocations from their state legislatures as well as by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. This indicator measures state arts agency funding per capita in each county.

We obtained data from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), which collects data from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. NASAA provided data for funding by states in fiscal years 2003-2009. Arts funding was grouped by county, aggregated for all of the years, and that sum then divided by the 2010 county population. The indicator can be interpreted as the cumulative state arts agency dollars serving each county resident in the seven-year span of 2003-2009.

A point to consider when comparing one county to another: state arts agency funding comparisons will be most valid within a state, and not to counties in other states. This is because policies and funding amounts vary widely state-to-state.


Additional Information: Counties with indicator value = 2,750. Average county indicator value = $4.92. Median county indicator value = $1.89.


Fast Facts from the Arts Index

The nonprofit arts grow – despite a recession!

The number of nonprofit arts organizations has grown annually, reaching 113,000 in 2010. In the past decade, nonprofit arts organizations grew 49% (76,000 to 113,000), a greater rate than all nonprofit organizations, which grew 32% (1.2 million to 1.6 million).