In January 2010, Americans for the Arts (AFTA) launched the National Arts Index, an annual measure of the health and vitality of the arts in the United States. The index provides an evidence-based look at key issues such as the growing number of artists and arts organizations, changing audience demand, impact of technology, personal participation and the relationship of the arts to the economy. It also documented some surprises, such as the growing demand for arts education and rapid growth in culturally and ethnically diverse arts organizations. While there is local relevance in these findings, survey organizers knew that to pull maximum value out of the data, AFTA needed to develop a local index, which tells the story of individual communities and places it in a larger national index.
The Office of Creative Sector Development invested over 100 hours gathering data for this survey throughout Larimer County. The release of the survey results is expected in early 2012. The OCSD participated since arts leaders, elected officials and citizen advocates need action-oriented research to advocate for better arts policy on the national, regional and local level. The AFTA studies make a strong case for the arts—in terms of economic, social and educational benefits.
Americans for the Arts Local Arts Index to be uploaded in early 2012.
Local Arts Index (LAI) Survey Results for Loveland
The LAI provides a set of measures to understand the breadth, depth and character of the cultural life of a community. It provides a framework for relating arts and culture to community priorities and aspirations. Those community priorities may range from economic development and revitalization through jobs or infrastructure, or to youth, education or health concerns. As we know, most American communities regularly struggle with all of these challenges. The LAI can serve as a tool to frame questions about the roles or arts and culture in pursuing these priorities and aspirations, as well as show where a community may stand in relation to national norms.
The Local Arts Index was launched in April 2012 as a tool to better understand the characteristics of the cultural life of individual communities as measured at the county level. It is comprised of a series of arts indicators measured on the county level, and drawn from a variety of secondary sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, Claritas Research, Scarborough Research, the National Center of Charitable Statistics, and other sources.
Following is a summary of the report:
Art Programming capacity: Performing arts venue seating/capita- 49% higher than the national average and 37% higher than the state Visual arts exhibit space/capita- 35% higher than the national and 56% higher than the state
Arts Businesses: Locally owned arts businesses/capita- 150% higher than the national, 70% higher than the state Creative Industries/capita from Dunn and Bradstreet- 63% higher than the national and 26% higher than the state
Arts and Culture establishments/capita- 66% higher than the national average though 29% lower than the state
Performing Arts and events non-profit orgs/capita- 57% higher than the national
Locally owned business share of arts businesses- 38% higher than the national average and 30% higher than the state
Competitiveness: Creative Industries share of all business- 119% higher than the national and 47% higher than the state Creative Industries share of all employees in a community that work in art centric businesses, D&B data- 41% higher than the national and 28% higher than the state Share of Payroll- 40% higher than the national average, 12% lower than the state Share of all employees in Arts and culture industry from Census Bureau- 41% higher than the national 28% higher than the state
Arts education: Art $/K12 student- 24% higher than the national and 91% higher than the state Visual/Performing arts degrees/capita, 2003-2009: 32% higher than the national and 7% higher than the state
Population share that contribute to arts/culture orgs- 10% higher than the national and 58% higher than the state
Literary events/capita- 3x the national average and 83% higher than the state
Youth performance and participation events/capita- 4.5x the national average and 2x the state average
Total consumer expenditures from these categories: entrance admission fees, recorded media, musical instruments, photography equipment, reading materials- 40% higher than the national and 6% higher than the state