Kansas City comes in at number 19 among cities provocatively called “Hotbeds of America’s Arts and Culture” in a new report by the National Center for Arts Research at Southern Methodist University.
NCAR gathered data from 900 communities, tallying nonprofit arts dollars, the number of arts providers, and state and federal funding to measure what it calls “arts vibrancy.” The term is a buzzword among arts advocates who argue that "creativity is a desirable and necessary element for a thriving community."
In its description of Kansas City, the report cites (among other things) "more than $1.5 billion invested in new arts and cultural venues" over the last decade and a half; more than 165 arts and cultural nonprofits and 61 stages; and more than 6,000 independent artists and arts groups.
Kansas City's top 20 ranking was among cities with populations of 1 million or more:
"The arts in Kansas City are known for being on the leading edge, regularly receiving international acclaim for their artists and arts venues," added the report's authors, who also listed by name several of the area's artistic, cultural, philanthropic and entrepreneurial institutions.
C.J. Janovy is an arts reporter for KCUR 89.3. You can find her on Twitter, @cjjanovy.