A! Magazine for the Arts

Americans for the Arts Releases National Arts Index Scores

March 1, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans for the Arts recently released its second annual National Arts Index scores and the findings demonstrate that the arts follow the nation's business cycle: the 2009 Index score of 97.7 is the lowest Index score in the 12 years measured by the Index. The 2009 score represents a drop of 3.6 percentage points from 101.3 in 2008.

There were 3,000 new nonprofit arts organizations created during the 2007-09 recession years, but attendance at mainstream arts organizations and events continues a long-term decline. In 2008, 41% of nonprofit arts groups reported a deficit to the IRS, up from 36% in 2007.

While the flagging economy has presented a number of challenges for the arts, the Index does hit some high notes for the arts:

Americans are seeking more personal engagement in the arts;

• the number of artists in the workforce has increased 17% from 1996 to 2009 (1.9 to 2.2 million);

• and the demand for arts education is up, with more college-bound seniors with 4 years of arts or music and in the past decade college arts degrees conferred annually have risen from 75,000 to 127,000.

To download the report, click here: