Americans for the Arts released its second annual National Arts Index scores this week. The National Arts Index is an annual measure of the health and vitality of arts in the U.S. The findings demonstrate that the arts follow the nation’s business cycle, with the Index score for 2009 at 97.7, down 3.6 percentage points from 101.3 in 2008. The 2009 Index score is the lowest Index score in the 12 years measured by the Index.
The economy has presented a number of challenges for the arts, but the Index does hit some high notes. Americans are seeking more personal engagement in the arts and volunteerism is growing. The number of Americans who participated in an artistic activity increased 5 percent between 2005 and 2009, while volunteerism also jumped 11.6 percent. And the number of artists in the workforce has also increased 17 percent from 1996 to 2009 (1.9 to 2.2 million).
For more information and to download the report, go here.
This information is so old that it is hardly worth reading. Everyone gets upset for no good cause. Is there a more recent ‘control’ that might tell us the state of the arts in 2011?
Tamara Childress says
Hi HM. We, too, would love to see real-time data, however the National Arts Index is a tool to measure trends that occur over a span of time and create a benchmark for future measurement. The index is an annual measure of the health of the arts nationally, meaning data are collected for one year and analyzed in the following year.
Mark Reff says
Interesting report. I wonder if the increase in personal engagement in the arts and volunteerism is correlated to the high level of unemployment in the economy. People out of work have more time to participate in arts and volunteer activities.