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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The National Arts Index is the latest in a series of credible research reports to document the impact of arts and culture on a national and local level. Economic impact studies like the Arts & Economic Prosperity reports, employment data from the Creative Industries Report and other studies have all made significant contributions to our […]

Galileo Galiliei once said, “Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.” I congratulate Americans for the Arts and their partners for doing just that by developing the National Arts Index. In so doing they have ignited a crucial national conversation about the arts, their health and vitality, and that of our […]

Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise, the National Arts Index is a real game changer. By widening the frame to look at music royalties, movie screens, and personal creative practice, Americans for the Arts has basically said to the nonprofit fine arts, “You’re now one of many; part of a sector but not the be-all […]