Cincinnati is One of the Top 'Arts Vibrant' Regions in the Country, According to Index Report

Cincinnati has appeared on the Arts Vibrancy Index since 2020, steadily rising in the rankings each year.

click to enlarge Cincinnati Music Hall - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Cincinnati Music Hall

Cincinnati is a pretty artsy city, according to a new report.

SMU DataArts, the National Center for Arts Research, Thursday released its eighth Arts Vibrancy Index, with the Cincinnati region ranking 11th out of the top 20 most arts-vibrant large regions in the United States.

Analyzing the levels of supply, demand and federal and state government support for the arts, the index ranks a total of 40 communities, separated into three size categories, out of more than 900 across the country. The Queen City has appeared in the Arts Vibrancy Index since its debut at No. 20 in 2020.

“This report affirms two things: arts organizations in the Cincinnati region play a vital role in driving economic vibrancy and social connectivity, and residents of the region are highly arts-engaged,” ArtsWave president and CEO Alecia Kintner said in a press release. “We also know that you cannot separate the quality and variety of arts experiences here from the decades of strategic, philanthropic investment in the arts by individuals and businesses. This index provides a new way to talk about return on that investment.”

The index is made up of 13 unique metrics that touch on supply, demand, and government support for arts and culture. It’s also adjusted for cost of living and population differences across each region. Among the metrics, Cincinnati ranked fourth in earned program revenue, like ticket sales, and was also notable for contributed income (philanthropic gifts). And Cincinnati’s high marks in government support come our arts organizations’ skills in winning competitive state and federal arts grants, says ArtsWave.

“This speaks to the quality and continual innovation demonstrated by our region’s arts institutions because, for these grants, they are evaluated against peers across the nation,” Kintner added.

Of the top 20 large (communities with a population of 1 million or more), the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City region, followed by New York-Jersey City-White Plains and Washington-Arlington-Alexandria ranked in the top three. Of Ohio’s large cities, Cleveland also ranked in the top 20, coming just behind Cincinnati at No. 12. In the medium-sized region category, the Canton-Massillon, Ohio, area ranked eighth out of the top 10.

See the full Arts Vibrancy Index here.

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About The Author

Katherine Barrier

Katherine Barrier is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s journalism program and has nearly 10 years of experience reporting local and national news as a digital journalist. At CityBeat, she oversees the digital and social media strategies, edits web and print content and writes for the dining and arts...
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