A new report has ranked Boulder, Colorado the eighth most vibrant arts community among medium-sized U.S. cities. 

SMU DataArts, the National Center for Arts Research at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, recently released its annual Arts Vibrancy Index Report. This is the first time in the study’s five-year history that Boulder has appeared in the top ten list.

The rankings are found by analyzing per capita data specifically focusing on supply, demand and public support for the arts. Supply is gauged as total arts providers, demand measures the total nonprofit arts dollars in the community, and public support as local, state and federal arts funding.

SMU DataArts stated that, “The support from Boulder’s municipal government is significant, providing government spending of about $13 per resident that mostly returns to the community through grants and other spending on public art. There is also much support from the regional Scientific and Cultural Facilities District tax.” The study also commended the city’s “Experiments in Public Art” series for providing a platform for artists to connect with the community.

Public art, along with grants to nonprofits and programs for artists, are the foundation for the city’s cultural affairs strategy, “The Community Cultural Plan.” 

“I am enormously proud of our cultural community,” said Matt Chasansky, manager of the City of Boulder Office of Arts and Culture. “Boulder making the top ten list for the first time tells me that our observations of the past few years of growth in the city’s arts scene is real. This research compliments a series of other studies we’ve done on economic impact, the lives of artists, and the creative economy. All the data shows that, though we have challenges to overcome, the direction of our cultural community is encouraging.” 

For more information on the findings from SMU DataArts, and other studies from the Office of Arts and Culture, visit: boulderarts.org.

Published: Aug. 29, 2019

Media Contacts:

Media Relations, Annie Zaruba, 303-441-4092
Arts and Culture Services Manager, Matt Chasansky 303-441-4113

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