The Most Vibrant Arts Communities in America (2020)

2020 Arts Vibrancy Index Includes New Cities: Cincinnati, OH; Wilmington, DE; Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA; and Hailey, ID.

Cities Ranked by Per Capita Supply, Demand and Government Support for the Arts.

COVID-19 Impact on Nonprofit Arts and Culture in New York City

The nonprofit arts and culture sector has been profoundly affected by these developments and faces severe challenges in the coming months and years of recovery.

A New White Paper Examines Why Theatres Should Safeguard Against A Possible Downturn

SMU DataArts and Theatre Communications Group examine the data to provide insights and recommendations on how to be best positioned for the future.

The Fifth Annual List Of Most Arts-Vibrant Cities In The U.S.

Cities Ranked by Per Capita Supply, Demand and Government Support for the Arts

Study: Houston's Arts and Culture Workforce Does Not Match the Diversity of the Greater City

Study funded by Houston Endowment to help arts organizations better understand and serve their communities

Large Arts and Cultural Institutions Make Northwest Arkansas a Major Arts Community in America

SMU DataArts examined the arts vibrancy rankings of Benton and Washington counties to uncover trends over five years, 2013-2017.

SMU DataArts Fundraising Report Reveals It Takes Money to Make Money

Study Finds as Arts Organizations Spend Less on Fundraising, ROI Drops

Arts and Cultural Organizations Don't Exist in a Vacuum: Key Takeaways from The Anchor Project

Karen Brooks Hopkins’ The Anchor Project shares important findings that emerged from her work as Inaugural Senior Fellow-in-Residence at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

Meet SMU DataArts' New Donna Wilhelm Research Fellows

Michael Braun of Cox School of Business and Daniel Cable of London Business School Begin One-Year Appointments

It's a Myth That Arts Organizations Don't Merge Well. Case Study: SMU DataArts

What factors made it possible for SMU's National Center for Arts Research and DataArts to unite? A longtime trustee of DataArts and a member of the advisory committee for NCAR highlights the factors. 

How The People’s Music School Turned an Operating Deficit into a Surplus

The People's Music School faced closure in 2015. Learn how organizational leaders turned things around to reach a significant operating surplus and more.

Getting to Know DataArts

Aug, 08 2018 / /

DataArts, formerly the Cultural Data Project, was founded in 2004 to bring the language and leverage of data to the business of culture. The Cultural Data Profile (CDP) is DataArts’ flagship service, which thousands of cultural nonprofits use annually to report their financial and programmatic information.

Importance of Working Capital

Patricia Egan of Cool Spring Analytics talks about the importance of the balance sheet and cash flow.

The Hotbeds of America's Arts and Culture, Ranked

The annual Arts Vibrancy Index includes nine new cities ranked by per capita supply, demand, and government support for the arts.

Unpacking Your Organization’s Unique Liquidity Needs

Claire Knowlton, Director of Advisory Services for Nonprofit Finance Fund, shares tips on how organizations can better understand their own unique liquidity needs.

WEBINAR: Maximizing the Artistic, Social and Economic Impact of Anchor Cultural Institutions

Webinar: How can anchor arts institutions in low income communities make maximum cultural, social and economic impact?

Managing and Maintaining Working Capital: The Struggle for Sustainability in Today’s Non-profit World

Daryl Royse, Appalshop's Financial Director, shares how NCAR's Working Capital Report ties into the organization's strategic planning process.

Report Shows Precariously Low Cash Reserves for Most Arts Organizations

Barry Hessenius, of WESTAF's Barry's Blog, reacts to NCAR's new Working Capital Report.

The Art of Liquidity

Steven Lawrence, Independent Consultant and Senior Research Affiliate at TCC Group shares insights on NCAR's Working Capital Report

National Center for Arts Research finds that working capital is precariously low for the majority of U.S. Arts and Cultural Organizations

Study Finds Performing Arts Organizations and Over Half of Museums Struggle to Meet Day-to-Day Obligations

How Planning, Partnerships, and Philanthropic Trends Add to the Bottom Line

The Sphinx Organization's Director of Institutional Partnerships shares what has contributed to Sphinx's bottom line.

Now That’s a KIPI!: Larry’s Rules

Lawrence J. Wheeler, Ph.D., director of the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA), has developed a set of principles that have guided the museum’s vision and success. Find out more about his "rules" and how they boost the museum's KIPIs.

Bay Area and The Bottom Line: Challenges and Opportunities for San Francisco’s Arts Community

Barbara Mumby Huerta of the San Francisco Arts Commission shares an on-the-ground perspective of the city's nonprofit arts and culture organizations' low operating bottom lines.

What’s Behind the Bottom Line?

Kate Barr, President & CEO of Propel Nonprofits, shares her notes on NCAR’s new bottom line report, including why small organizations are better able to adapt and manage expenses to match revenue.

The Burden of Rising Expenses in the Arts: The Bottom Line Report

Study shows that burden of rising expenses in the sector is greatest barrier to financial sustainability. Smaller, more nimble organizations with lower fixed costs have higher chance of financial success.

Barriers to Mission Financing: Not all nonprofit money is created equal.

NCAR worked with Propel Nonprofits on a research report on the financial profile of culturally specific organizations in the state of Minnesota, and the findings reinforced national research.

Building Stronger Communities through the Arts

Main Street America Network sees the arts as an integral part of building stronger communities, from small to large, urban to rural.

Key Research in Salt Lake City Reveals Link Between Vibrant Arts Scene and Business Expansion

Economic Development Corporation of Utah discusses a study revealing how critical a strong arts and entertainment industry is to a business’ desire to remain in Salt Lake City.

New Orleans' Unique Arts Vibrancy

Nick Stillman, Arts Council New Orleans President + CEO, responds to questions about the arts vibrancy of New Orleans, #18 on our top 20 list.

Asheville's Arts Vibrancy

The arts are known for making Asheville vibrant, but for how long? The arts council talks past, present and future.

Arts Vibrancy and Home Prices

Arts vibrancy impacts the real estate industry.  The Massachusetts Association of Realtors weighs in.

Pittsfield, Massachusetts – an arts and culture destination and hub for technology and innovation.

What does arts vibrancy mean to other industries in a community? General Dynamics Mission Systems in Pittsfield, MA, shares its appreciation for arts and culture.

Arts Flourish in Flint

Find out how arts vibrancy took root in Flint and flourishes today. A good news story.

Data skills are critical for future leaders

Sherry Wagner-Henry shares what data training can be found in the Bolz Center for Arts Administration coursework.

We need more arts data skills

In this arts data blog salon article, Brea M. Heidelberg - arts management educator, consultant, and researcher - makes a case for more research training in arts administration. 

For the Love of Data

Guest post by Kathryn Heidemann, Carnegie Mellon University

D-A-T-A. Data, once considered a four-letter word in the creative industries, has since come to embrace the minds (and even the hearts) of arts managers, artists, and audiences across the creative ecosystem.

Got data. Got data skills?

Guest blog salon this week: Is the arts field training leaders with the skills to collect and analyze the data we need to make informed decisions and advance our work?

Small Town Vibrancy Awakening

Arts vibrancy can be found in large cities, small towns, and places in between. Whitney Kimball Coe from Center for Rural Strategies gives us a glimpse of the arts awakening in her small hometown.

Cultivating a Vibrant Minneapolis-Saint Paul

Laura Zabel of Springboard for the Arts in Minneapolis-Saint Paul shares her insights into the community's vibrancy and support for artists.

Small Towns, Big Value: Lessons in Immigrant Cultural Vibrancy

PhD candidate and Research Fellow John Arroyo shares his insights on the role of immigrants' expressions and small town demographic shifts in the future of arts and culture vibrancy.

Improving Quality of Life through Arts and Culture in the Heartland: A Nonprofit’s Call to Action

Bravo Greater Des Moines provides funding and support that strengthens arts, culture and heritage organizations serving Greater Des Moines, and the number of communities investing in has grown to 17.

Celebrating The Arts Factor in Greater Boston

ArtsBoston, Greater Boston’s largest arts service organization, measures and celebrates the power of arts and culture in their community.

Not just an anchor: an arts vibrancy beacon in Hudson

The restoration of New York State’s oldest surviving theater became a catalyst for the growth of arts vibrancy in Hudson.

Making a Scene in Des Moines

The arts scene in Des Moines, Iowa, has grown in the last ten years. Zachary Mannheimer, Principal Community Planner and Des Moines Social Club Founder shares his perspective on why DSM ranks #10.

Are We Developing Our Staff to Build Their Capacity and our Organizations'?

Are nonprofit arts organzations investing enough in their staff's development and salaries?

Bennington Arts Vibrancy is Deeply Rooted

Bennington, Vermont, community leaders share insights into what makes it such a unique arts vibrant place.

In High Gear: The NCAR Dashboard

A majority of arts organizations are missing key pieces of data that can help them grow. To make that data readily available in a customized way, NCAR offers a free digital dashboard and is developing an interactive map showing which area households are likely to purchase tickets.

Artists' Role in Arts Vibrancy

Artists play a vital role in community arts vibrancy. Artist and administrator Matthew Perry shares his insights into Bennington's ranking.

Planning for Arts Vibrancy

The American Planning Association (APA) recognizes the vital role that arts and culture contribute to livable communities, and provides best practices to help communities integrate the arts into planning processes through creative placemaking.

Arts Scene Leads to Economic Development, Talent Attraction in DSM USA

Beyond the measurable economic impact, the arts and culture scene in Des Moines significantly adds to the vibrancy of the region.

Newark, N.J.: A Vibrant Arts Community

Newark's mayor sees arts vibrancy creating jobs, attracting new businesses and development, expanding tourism, improving neighborhood livability and the quality of life throughout Newark.

Franklin County, OH: The Arts Shine Brightly

Marilyn Brown, Franklin County Commissioner, knows the arts and culture in her Ohio community are a critical factor in its vitality.

Are standard metrics for the arts out of the question?

How do local arts agencies measure organizational and community health? Robert Bush of Charlotte's ASC shares his quest.

What do the arts mean for Missoula?

Arts Missoula Executive Director Tom Bensen shares how the arts provide more than just entertainment in Missoula, MT.

Austin's Arts Vibrancy is Bright

Mayor Steve Adler talks about the arts vibrancy of Austin and the challenge to keep it affordable for musicians and live music venues.

Art is in Nashville’s DNA

Nashville's mayor says the spirit of collective creation has helped the city develop a world class reputation as not only a music mecca but a global hub for artists, makers, designers and innovators.

Visitor-to-Staff Index Overview

SMU DataArts' Visitor-to-Staff Index measures an arts organization’s staff capacity by examining the ratio of staff to total number of visitors.

Arts Vibrancy: What does that mean in Rochester, New York?

Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester chair shares why Rochester is arts vibrant and their desire for more public support.

The National Association of Counties recognizes the importance of arts vibrancy

The National Association of Counties (NACo) shares how NCAR's Interactive Arts Vibrancy Heat Map features data at the county level and highlights thriving arts communities across our nation’s counties.

five qualities that define PHILADELPHIA’s arts vibrancy

Maud Lyon, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, tells us why Philly is one of America’s great cultural capitals – and has been for a very long time

Los Angeles, where community vibrancy matters

Wendy F. Hsu, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, shares LA's arts vibrancy initiatives and innovations at their diverse neighborhood level

Vineyard Haven's Arts Vibrancy Is a Ten

Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Director Nancy Gardella invites visitors to explore the island's eclectic and one-of-a-kind arts and culture.


Vibrancy of Frederick Art Life Pops

Arts vibrancy in the City of Frederick, Maryland, is a communal effort, with successful public-private partnerships.

Juneau is Small but Vibrant

Juneau Arts & Humanities Council Executive Director Nancy DeCherney highlights what makes this small city so vibrant.

Montgomery County, Maryland is Arts Vibrant

Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, talks about arts vibrancy, challenges, values and planning.

Arts Vibrancy in Chicago: An arts powerhouse and a global cultural destination

Chicago ranks #15 on NCAR's top 20 list of most arts-vibrant large communities. Mark Kelly, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, talks government funding and what makes the city such a global attraction. 

Measuring Greater Pittsburgh’s Arts Vibrancy

How does the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council measure arts vibrancy and more? CEO Mitch Swain shares their research sources and findings.

Santa Fe Mayor on Arts Vibrancy: Culture Defines Santa Fe

Santa Fe ranked high on our list of most arts-vibrant cities in the country. Mayor Javier Gonzales shares what, in his opinion, fostered a sustained vibrancy in the city. 

Ithaca, New York is Arts Vibrant

Ithaca, NY ranked #7 on our top 10 list of most arts-vibrant medium MSAs. Find out why from Tompkins County Community Arts Partnership.

Data Informed Strategic Planning

Dallas organization TACA used NCAR's Arts Vibrancy Index to inform and shape their strategic plan.

How Arts Vibrant Are America's Cities? Here's Every County Ranked in an Interactive Map

The 2017 NCAR Arts Vibrancy Index ranks the most vibrant arts cities in America. How is the rest of the country faring when it comes to arts vibrancy?

The Top 20 Most Vibrant Arts Communities in America (2017)

SMU's NCAR announces list of the most vibrant arts cities in the country. The 2017 Arts Vibrancy Index includes eight new cities. Cities are ranked by supply, demand, and government support for the arts.

Square Footage Comes at a Cost: Be Prepared

Guest post by Jill Garland, DUNCH Vice President

What’s the Biggest Expense in the Arts? People

In our new Expense Report, we find that within arts and cultural organizations nationally, a healthy portion of expenditures are for the people directly involved in delivering the organization’s mission-related programs

New Museum Research with The Art Newspaper

New joint research with The Art Newspaper shows museums are presenting more shows than they used to, and contemporary art dominates.

Joint Study in Gender Disparity Shows Gap Persists Despite Gains in Art Museum Directors

While incremental gains were observed, the study shows that women still hold fewer than 50% of directorships, earn less than male counterparts, and typically lead institutions with smaller budgets

Arts and Culture Aren't an Elitist Extravagance. They’re Essential to American Life.

Arts and culture aren’t “out there” and just for an elite part of the population.  They are closer and more immediate and personal than most people give them credit for being.  

New NCAR Report Says Payment to Artistic and Production Personnel is the Largest Expense for Arts Organizations

This edition, which focuses on expenses related directly to the cost of programming, shows that two-thirds of total program-related expenses, or 42% of all operating revenue, goes to payment of program-related personnel.

Free Dashboard Webinars

How does your arts organization compare to your peers?

Matchmaking: When David Met Goliath

Karen Brooks Hopkins, NCAR Nasher Haemisegger Fellow, provides suggestions for administrators and community leaders who face a divide between small and large arts and cultural organizations.

Weaving and Data

Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and their context are woven together in shared potential and shared challenges. The NCAR Fundraising Report provides relevant, timely data to help us clarify and wrestle with the pertinent fundraising questions in front of us.

Contributed revenue and the ‘arts bubble’

The arts don’t exist in a bubble, yet we often act as if they do. At such moments, we cut ourselves off from both audiences and donors who may not share our assumptions, conventions, language, and ideals for how arts or culture experiences should work.

Ernan Haruvy Named Donna Wilhelm Research Fellow

Dr. Ernan Haruvy, professor of marketing at The University of Texas at Dallas, has been named the second Donna Wilhelm Research Fellow.

Government and Philanthropic Funders Benefit from New Fundraising Report

Ryan Stubbs, Research Director for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, shares implications for both organizations and funders to be found in NCAR's new Fundraising Report

Getting Real: Expectations for Corporate Cash Contributions to the Arts

By NCAR Director Zannie Voss and Rebecca Wood

How many discussions have occurred in arts organizations’ board rooms bemoaning a lack of corporate support?  When we think about growth and sources of contributions, it is easy to imagine that a largely untapped panacea exists in the resources possessed by businesses.  If they knew us, they would love us and they would want to support the remarkable impact we have on the community, right? 

Watch NCAR Fellow Karen Brooks Hopkins Talk the Dashboard on Brooklyn’s BRIC TV

Karen Brooks Hopkins, NCAR's New Nasher Haemisegger Fellow, recently visited Brooklyn's BRIC TV to talk about the new KIPI Dashboard

The most valuable research tool you’re not using… yet

Guest post by Jill Robinson, President and CEO of TRG Arts

“How do we stack up?”

Everyone is curious about how their arts organization compares with others like them. There’s really not been a good place to find that information, though.

Until now.

The NCAR Report on Fundraising Trends in Arts and Culture

Report shows overall growth in unrestricted contributions, which outpaced both growth in expenses and inflation

10,000 Steps: How Data Can Lead to a Healthier Cultural Sector

President and CEO of DataArts, Beth Tuttle, explains how the new NCAR KIPI Dashboard gave a power-boost to the data they collect through the Cultural Data Profile.

Apples and Bananas: Benchmarking and the Cultural Sector

NCAR Senior Advisor Robert Stein shares his views on why the new KIPI Dashboard is a valuable tool for gaining performance insights, benchmarking and making informed decisions.

Introducing the NCAR KIPI Dashboard

Our new tool allows arts organizations to measure performance against peers

A Farewell Post from NCAR’s Kate Levin: On Virtual Participation

NCAR’s inaugural Nasher Haemisegger Fellow, Kate D. Levin, shares her thoughts on virtual participation in her final, outgoing post.

Chicago Theatres' Changing Landscape

Guest post by Deb Clapp, Executive Director, League of Chicago Theatres

I was very flattered to be asked by my friend Jennifer Armstrong to write a guest blog post.  She forwarded some interesting data to me and at the same time, Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune had written an article about subscriptions, membership and the correlation between the newspaper industry and the theatre industry and the need to change to fit the needs of Millennials.

Meet Karen Brooks Hopkins, NCAR's New Nasher Haemisegger Fellow

The National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) has appointed Karen Brooks Hopkins, former president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and currently Senior Fellow in Residence.

Los Angeles on the Rise

Guest Post by Laura Zucker, Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission

Los Angeles was the fastest moving large city in National Center for Arts Research’s newest Arts Vibrancy Index, up to fifth place from its position in ninth place last year.  What has put us on such a fast trajectory?

Why Is Kansas City the Most Vibrant Arts City of All?

Guest Post by Bruce W. Davis, President and CEO, ArtsKC

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, where is the most culturally vibrant place to have a ball? Kansas City of course. I moved to Kansas City from the Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay area for a reason. Great things are happening in the Kansas City region. It has world class art and world class sports.

What makes Breckenridge an arts vibrant community?

In an era of declining investment in the arts, our small town high in the Colorado mountains is going out of its way to embrace arts and culture—building up our existing cultural organizations, giving voice to little-known artistic visionaries, and styling contemporary new festivals to breathe life into our creative culture.

The Top 20 Most Vibrant Arts Communities in America (2016)

Six new cities added to the top 20 list of arts vibrant cities in our second annual Arts Vibrancy Index, which ranks more than 900 communities across the country, examining the level of supply, demand, and government support for the arts in each city.

SMU's NCAR Announces Gifts Totaling $1 Million in 2015

NCAR announced that it has successfully met a generous $500,000 challenge grant from Dallas philanthropist and civic leader Donna Wilhelm, raising a total of $1 million in 2015 for research, programs and services.

Addressing Funding Inequities for Arts Organizations of Color

We hope you join us for what promises to be a fascinating conversation as we delve into addressing funding inequities for arts organizations of color. So honored to be a part of this illustrious panel!



To rsvp please use this link:

Data, Advocacy, and Health of the Nonprofit Arts Sector



invite you to a focused look at DATA, ADVOCACY, and HEALTH OF THE NONPROFIT ARTS SECTOR, specifically:

• What’s the current financial and organizational health of arts nonprofits in LA County?

• How does our health compare to the rest of the country?

To measure engagement, you first have to define it

Guest blog post by Bronwyn Mauldin, Director of Research and Evaluation Los Angeles County Arts Commission

The concept of “engagement” in the arts is a tricky, slippery subject with a lot of room for miscommunication. At its most basic, engagement events are ones that allow people not just to be a passive consumer of the arts, but to engage in arts making.

Is Less More? An Interview with Ben Cameron

Is Less More? In this interview philanthropic leader Ben Cameron discusses NCAR findings that show an increase in programmatic offerings with a corresponding decline in individual touch points among some sectors. Take a listen as he and NCAR Director Zannie Voss discuss the impact of funding that supports the brilliant thinking of grantees rather than funder prescribed courses of action.

New NCAR White Paper Examines Arts Organizations of Color

NCAR study identifies the key differences between culturally-specific organizations and their mainstream peers and calls for a more equitable measurement of performance. The new white paper counters findings of the DeVos Institute study. 

Two NCAR-King Awardees Announced

NCAR received a grant from the Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation to expand the field of art and culture's knowledge about arts consumption.

YOUR Top 10 Ways of Measuring Organizational Health

Happy 2016!

The new year is often a time when many of us regroup and reboot taking stock of current practices that may/may not serve us to be whole, healthy individuals. The promise of self-improvement is often the purpose of New Year's resolutions in which we strive to be our best selves.

Associate Director position OPEN!


If you love data as well as connecting with the national field of arts and culture, then this position may be for you!

Applications are being accepted until January 14, 2016.

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR 2 – Date Posted: December 21, 2015 – Job ID: 900896 - Meadows School of the Arts/National Center of Arts Research

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications

Job Summary:

The Digital Divide: an Interview with Donna Wilhelm

Philanthropist and civic leader Donna M. Wilhelm pursues a mission to promote global connection and learning through education, arts and cultural and civil society initiatives as well as the preservation of the environment.

She serves as a Board Chair of TACA, trustee of Dallas Theater Center and KERA Public Broadcasting as well as on the Advisory Board for NCAR. In the following interview, Ms. Wilhelm shares her insights on the generational divide in the consumption of digital programming.

Take a listen and let us know what you think!

New Revenue Models: A Discussion with Dr. Bonnie Pitman

Dr. Bonnie Pitman, Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the University of Texas at Dallas and nationally recognized leader for her expertise and research in audience and civic engagement discusses the need for new revenue models for arts and cultural organizations.

Earned Relational Revenue- The Subscription Model and Symphony Orchestras

Jesse Rosen, President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras, shares his insights on the subscription model and its importance to symphony orchestras across the country.

Since becoming President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras in 2008, Mr. Rosen has been a leading voice for change, empowering the League’s 800 member orchestras with knowledge and perspective to navigate their own paths through a rapidly changing environment. We are honored that he has taken time out of his busy schedule to share his thoughts with us.

Digital Engagement and Best Practices in Dance: an Interview with Zenetta Drew

Zenetta Drew, Executive Director of Dallas Black Dance Theatre, shares her insights regarding digital engagement in the dance community as well as examples of best practices within the Dance sector.

Contributed Revenue from the eyes of a board member and donor

An Interview with arts and civic leader, Bess Enloe

Bess Enloe has decades of board service in the arts in multiple roles as President, Chair, Vice-Chair and lifetime trustee.

Using Data to Inform Decision-making: A look at the SMU National Center for Arts Research

This article is a cross-post with Arts Management Network

League of American Orchestras to Partner with NCAR

The SMU National Center for Arts Research is excited to announce a partnership with the League of American Orchestras.  As the only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League will be providing NCAR with organizational data from its diverse membership of approximately 800 orchestras across the United States.

Understand Your Audience

Many arts organizations and groups have more information about their audiences than they realize, but they don’t use that data to their advantage. But, by using data—and collecting more—your organization may be able to make more informed decisions, plan for the future, and check its overall health.

Expanding options: Exploring Program Revenue per Attendee

There is no "one size fits all" performance measure. Instead, metrics for organizational health are as varied as the field itself. So this begs the question: What are the metrics that matter? One key area of earned revenue to examine is the revenue generated from patrons.

NCAR Research Director Glenn Voss Receives Prestigious Award

On Friday October 2, 2015, NCAR Research Director, Dr. Glenn Voss, was awarded the 2015 Outstanding Doctoral Alumni Award from Mays Business School at Texas A&M.

NCAR Helps Cultural Organizations Measure Their Health

The “Edition 3” report just released by The National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) is a powerful addition to the set of comparative metrics available to help organizations understand and manage their operations. 
This project has several particularly interesting features. 

Relationships Matter: New Data on How Subscription and Membership Impact Revenue

Subscription and membership are different as models, but both have an important role to play in loyalty development.

What are your top 10 ways to measure organizational health?

There is no one-size-fits-all performance measure for such a diverse field, only answers to relevant questions. With that spirit in mind, we want to hear from YOU what your top 10 critical questions are.. Take our poll and let us know!

NCAR Releases New Edition of Data

Evidence-based insights and trend analysis focus on metrics related to community engagement, earned revenue and marketing efforts across the nation’s arts and cultural sector.

NCAR Fellow Kate Levin on the Biggest Obstacle for Arts Organizations

"If you can't measure it, you can't manage it": Opinions and reflections from new NCAR Fellow Kate Levin

NCAR Adds Four Distinguished New Board Members

The National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) has announced that four arts leaders from New York and North Texas have joined its board of advisors.

Inside NCAR

This fall the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) released its second report examining the health of arts organizations nationwide. MPRINT, SMU Meadows Alumni Magazine, sat down with NCAR Director Zannie Voss and Research Director Glenn Voss to talk about some of the newest report's findings, the work of new NCAR Fellow Kate Levin, and what's next for the Center.

The Most Vibrant Arts Markets in America: A Look at Three Cities

The National Center for Arts Research recently released its first annual Arts Vibrancy Index, measuring supply, demand and public support for arts and culture in more than 900 communities across the country. Here’s a look at three of the country’s most arts-vibrant cities in large and medium/small markets, particularly in terms of Arts Providers: 

Arts Organizations That Serve Children Engage More People

The National Center for Arts Research has found that organizations that primarily serve children engage more people. Also, organizations targeting children have lower marketing expenses that yield higher attendance.

The Power of Digital Distribution in the Arts

The National Center for Arts Research discovered that digital distribution allows organizations to attract more and new audience members through community engagement. Through our research we have concluded that online and digitally-transmitted programming can attract 10.3% of its local community. However, organizations tend to only attract 2.9% of its local community in-person.

The NCAR Arts Vibrancy Index Report: The Arts Markets in America, Ranked

SMU’s National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) today released its first annual Arts Vibrancy Index, along with an interactive heat map.  The index ranks more than 900 communities across the country.  Vibrancy is measured as the level of supply, demand, and government support for arts and culture on a per capita basis. The report highlights the top 20 large markets and top 20 medium and small markets.

NCAR + TACA: Dallas Arts Organizations: A National Comparison

On December 8, 2014, NCAR and TACA (The Arts Community Alliance) co-hosted an event for local art leaders to discuss findings demonstrating how Dallas arts organizations compare to other arts organizations nationally. Due to popular demand, we are making the presentation available online as well as providing a summary of key findings.

SMU’s National Center For Arts Research Publishes Second Major Report On Arts Industry Health

DALLAS (SMU), December 4, 2014 – The National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) at Southern Methodist University unveiled its second major report that examines the financial, operating, engagement and staffing health of the nonprofit arts industry. The report is available online at

Read the Report on Gender Gaps in Museum Directorships

The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, today released findings from a research study designed to understand the gender gap in art museum directorships and to explore potential factors to help AAMD member institutions advance towards greater gender equality.

Read the Study on NEA Funding and Community Wealth

Read the National Center for Arts Research study that evaluates wealth distribution in NEA grant-recipient communities vs. non-recipient communities.