Arts Index Posts from ARTSblog

This post is one in a series highlighting the Local Arts Index (LAI) by Americans for the Arts. The LAI provides a set of measures to help understand the breadth, depth, and character of the cultural life of a community. It provides county-level data about arts participation, funding, fiscal health, competitiveness, and more. Check out […]

This post is one in a series highlighting the Local Arts Index (LAI) by Americans for the Arts. The LAI provides a set of measures to help understand the breadth, depth, and character of the cultural life of a community. It provides county-level data about arts participation, funding, fiscal health, competitiveness, and more. Check out […]

Every morning, I turn on the treadmill, tune into the Today Show and run until I bank 150 calories to earn a glass of Chardonnay at the end of the day. Matt Lauer and the NBC crew are usually just eye candy and background chatter, but [April 25] they hit a nerve talking about college […]

Almost one year ago, I posted The Top Ten Reasons to Support the Arts in response to a business leader who wanted to make a compelling case for government and corporate contributions to the arts. Being a busy guy, he didn’t want a lot to read: “Keep it to one page, please.” With the arts […]

Three years before writing Future Shock in 1970, futurist Alvin Toffler first wrote The Art of Measuring the Arts, and noted, “A cultural data system is needed to provide information for rational policy-making in the cultural field and to assist those outside the field in understanding their impact on it.” This week, Americans for the […]

Americans for the Arts released its second annual National Arts Index scores this week and the findings won’t surprise you: the 2009 Index score of 97.7 is the lowest Index score in the twelve years it measures. The 2009 score represents a drop of 3.6 percentage points from 101.3 in 2008. There were 3,000 new […]

by Joanna Chin, Program Coordinator, Animating Democracy According to the recently released National Arts Index, one third of arts groups are not making their budget. The downturn in the economy, combined with the Index’s clear results, has shown that when giving dries up, an alarming number of arts groups are slowly pulled into financial starvation. […]

What an adventure! When Randy Cohen and I started putting the National Arts Index together in 2005, we had little sense of how expansive it would become. At first, we hoped to find about 25 or 30 national and annual measures of arts and culture activity that we could report on annually. We knew of […]

At a time when the arts and culture community’s understanding of itself is shifting away from traditional conceptions of “arts participation” (i.e. attendance) and focus on publicly-supported business models, creating an empirical index such as the National Arts Index (NAI) is a daunting task. The challenge is that many arts-related data sources are anchored in […]

As Bill Ivey says, “policy accretes around bodies of data.” If we can develop commonly-accepted metrics for characterizing cultural vitality, then we stand a better chance of influencing policy. You can’t win the game if you don’t know the score. And, if you are filling a void of scorekeeping, then you get to shape the […]