Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Richmond No. 20 on arts index

Richmond ranks 20th among large metropolitan areas in the US in the 2017 Arts Vibrancy Index Report of Southern Methodist University’s National Center for Arts Research.

The report cited Richmond for its concentration of museums, frequency and accessibility of performing arts attractions, and for grassroots and collective arts ventures.

“Richmond scores in the top 10 percent of cities on arts providers, arts dollars and government support,” write the authors of the report, Zannie Giraud Voss and Glenn Voss, with Natalie Crane and Jennifer Armstrong. “It has a unique way of blending classic and contemporary, southern heritage with progressive art
. . . honoring the past but making space for the future.”

The index rates communities on “demand, supply and public support for arts and culture on a per capita basis.” Its ratings take into account the number of artists, arts organizations and culture-related businesses, earned revenue such as ticket sales and admission fees, contributions to non-profit arts groups, compensation of artists and arts groups’ staffs, and state and federal funding of cultural activities.

Richmond, Pittsburgh (No. 16) and Rochester, NY
(No. 19), had fallen out of the large-city top 20 in the previous report, released in 2015. All three are among the communities that, by the index’s metrics, have the most vibrant arts activity and support, those with populations either below 300,000 or between 1 and 3 million. (Greater Richmond’s 2015 population is listed as 1.27 million.)

The only other Virginia localities earning a top-20 listing were those in Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, ranked No. 1 among large metro areas.

The index’s ratings of other large population centers generally considered major cultural hubs: New York City-Jersey City, NJ-White Plains, NY, No. 2; greater San Francisco, No. 3; Nashville, No. 4; Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN, No. 5; Boston, No. 6; Los Angeles, No. 7; the Maryland suburbs of DC, No. 8; Seattle, No. 10; Philadelphia, No. 11; Denver, No. 14; Chicago, No. 15.

The Arts Vibrancy Index Report can be read here: http://www.smu.edu/~/media/Site/Meadows/NCAR/NCAR_ArtsVibrancy_04-17.pdf