New Research Report Highlights Economic Impact of the Arts in Rural Communities

A new report from the National Endowment for the Arts finds that rural arts organizations draw more non-local audiences to their venues and report greater civic leadership and customer connectedness than their urban peers. The report is based primarily on 2014 data from the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS). The ERS’s Rural Establishment Innovation Survey examines the type and breadth of innovation within rural businesses.

Rural Arts, Design, and Innovation in America is important because until now, arts and economic impact theories have been built and tested only in urban environments. As noted in the report’s preface, “Frequently, the data infrastructure for rural arts research projects has proved inadequate for elementary fact-finding, not to mention for generalizing about rural creative economies as a whole. Into this climate, the Rural Establishment Innovation Survey bursts as an unprecedented resource.”

Read the report from the National Endowment for the Arts.