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Volume 24, Number 10 — October 2017

First-Ever Local Arts Index Research Underway

March 29, 2011

KINGSPORT, TN — Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts, is conducting its first-ever Local Arts Index that will complement its National Arts Index. Data is being sought from tourism groups, arts venues, arts organizations, arts education, schools, businesses, museums, movie houses, studios, musical supply stores, publications, festivals, poetry slams, concerts, artists, musicians, dancers, playwrights, writers, and more.

Kingsport's Cultural Arts Division has been selected to lead the research in Sullivan County, Tenn. Program Administrator Bonnie Macdonald needs the information by April 30. Please email macdonald@kingsporttn.gov or visit www.publicart.kingsporttn.gov.

The Local Arts Index is the first county-level study designed to measure the health and vitality of the arts industries throughout the U.S. It will cover multiple industries, including nonprofit groups, for-profit arts businesses, employment figures, and more — providing a year-by-year and community-by-community comparison of the nation's arts sector.

"What are the aspirations of your community and what are the priorities? With the Local Arts Index, you will now have a tool to examine where you are and to use that as a springboard for making your future plans and using the evidence to track progress," says Randy Cohen, Vice-President of Research for Americans for the Arts.


"The Local Arts Index is an incredible tool for local arts leaders, and we are excited to work with our community partners over the coming year. The Local Arts Index will allow the arts groups to place their community in a national context and strengthen the arts in their schools, businesses, and homes," adds Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts.

The Kresge Foundation has awarded Americans for the Arts a $1.2 million grant to conduct the Local Arts Index, as well as the supporting workshops and materials necessary to assist communities in the effective application of the local data.

The findings from the Local Arts Index will be reported this fall. It will offer a data-driven method of making cross-community comparisons (answers the question "How do we stack up?") and help to identify local needs and opportunities and areas of strength.

The National Arts Index is an annual measure of the health and vitality of the arts in the U.S. The index provides an evidence-based look at key issues such as the growing number of artists and arts organizations, changing audience demand, the impact of technology, personal participation, and the relationship of the arts to the economy as well as some surprises such as the growing demand for arts education by college-bound high school seniors and the rapid growth in culturally and ethnically diverse arts organizations.

Americans for the Arts announced the 2010 National Arts Index in January. Those findings showed that the National Arts Index fell 4 points in 2008 to a score of 98.4, reflecting losses in charitable giving and declining attendance at larger cultural institutions, even as the number of arts organizations grew.