Cultural & Ethnic Awareness Quantity Geographic Density Date Established

Cultural Organizations Indicators: Quantity

According to the Urban Institute, the first indicator of an art community’s vitality is the presence of nonprofit cultural organizations, as they are the “key catalysts for both amateur and professional arts practice and collaborate with a range of arts and non-arts organizations” (Jackson et al., 2006). More below…

Nationally, the total number of organizations in these categories increased from about 75,000 in 1999 to 113,000 in 2010. It is worth noting that fewer than half of these organizations file an IRS Form 990 in any given year. The most likely reason that some do not file is that they are small. Organizations with less than $25,000 in total revenues are not required to file Form 990.

With all the attention given to the nonprofit arts in cultural policy and cultural economics, and the special impact of the nonprofit sector on the arts in recent decades, it is especially significant to show how available and accessible nonprofit arts groups are to residents as part of the capacity of the arts in a region. While this indicator does not reflect the composition of the region’s arts groups, it does show the overall breadth of the nonprofit arts sector in a community as experienced by its residents.

The data reveal that Houston also ranks 9th among the 13 selected comparison regions in terms of the growth in number of cultural organizations. While Houston’s rapidly increasing population plays a substantial role in depressing its results in this per capita measure, regions with similar if not higher rates of growth still managed to surpass Houston in this category. San Antonio’s performance in particular outshines Houston, given that both metro regions experienced nearly the same rate of population growth. San Antonio’s increase of nearly 63 percent is more than double Houston’s 27.8 percent increase in cultural organizations per capita. It is important to note, however, that the large improvements in this measure for San Diego and San Antonio primarily reflect the relatively small number of cultural organizations present in these regions to begin with – thus boosting the percentage growth figure.
Source cited

Maria-Rosario Jackson, Florence Kabwasa-Green, and Joaquin Herranz, “Cultural Vitality in Communities: Interpretation and Indicators,” The Urban Institute, 2006, Retrieved from: