Arts Vibrancy in Northwest Arkansas

Arts Vibrancy in Northwest Arkansas

Benton and Washington counties in northwest Arkansas have seen increased "arts vibrancy" since 2013, thanks to an established core of large arts and cultural institutions, a report from  (created in 2018 through the merger of 's National Center for Arts Research and the nonprofit DataArts) finds. Commissioned by the , the report, (18 pages, PDF), found that the SMU DataArts arts vibrancy index score — based on measures of supply, demand, and state and federal support for arts and culture in a community — for the two counties ranked below those of peer counties with similar demographic and socioeconomic characteristics in 2013 but had risen to levels above or similar to peer counties by 2017. According to the report, Benton County's arts and cultural supply — as measured by the number of employees, organizations, firms, and individual artists in the sector — improved significantly with the opening of the  in Bentonville. However, the report also found that both counties lag peer counties in terms of demand for the arts — as measured by total program and contributed revenues, expenses, and compensation — and in government support for the arts. And the region continues to lag similar regions on many socioeconomic measures, including employment and poverty rates, educational attainment, and per capita and household income.

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