Juneau Ranks 9th in the Nation’s Small Communities for Arts Vibrancy

Juneau Ranks 9th in the Nation in

the 4th Annual Arts Vibrancy Index

The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council (JAHC) is pleased to announce that Alaska’s Capital City has once again been ranked in the top ten small American communities for arts vibrancy.  Mayor Ken Koelsch was notified via e-mail this week of this prestigious honor, and reacted enthusiastically, noting:

“As someone who spent many years teaching theatre to hundreds of young people at Juneau-Douglas High School, I’ve always known Juneau is a special place when it comes to the arts.  As Mayor I am continually impressed by arts and culture activities at all levels of our community.  All Juneau residents should be proud of this ranking.”

Southern Methodist University (SMU) has a dedicated institute called the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) which examines the levels of supply, demand, and public support for the arts in over 900 communities across the nation.  The list is dynamic, and 2018 saw 20% of the chosen cities ranked for the first time.

Juneau has made it into the top ten previously, based on a number of different factors, including the numbers of independent artists, people employed in arts & culture industries, artistic organizations, and businesses involved in arts and culture.  Notably, Juneau was 16th in entire nation for the per capita number of arts organizations.

A second metric considered in ranking Arts Vibrancy is the amount of revenue generated by arts and culture activities alongside total expenditures and compensation.  The third criterion includes state and federal support for arts activity, and Juneau is most impressively the second in the nation per capita for securing scarce, competitively-awarded federal arts dollars from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS).

Several compelling elements of Juneau’s arts scene were specifically mentioned in the Arts Vibrancy Index Report, including the multiplicity of arts organizations, the great variety of artistic activities and disciplines pursued, and the thriving Alaska Native cultural organizations active in Alaska’s Capital City.   JAHC was also specifically mentioned, with recognition that as the official arts agency of the City & Borough of Juneau (CBJ), it brings performances to town and provides many other forms of support for all sorts of arts activities.  JAHC’s effort to build a New Juneau Arts & Culture Center (JACC) were also favorably noted.

Susan Sloss, Artist and Secretary of the JAHC Board of Trustees, said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to see Juneau once again ranked as one of the top ten small arts communities in the country.  This is a welcome recognition that underscores how much Juneauites love the arts and enjoy them in their daily lives.”

The full report on the Arts Vibrancy Index can be found at: http://mcs.smu.edu/artsresearch2014/arts-vibrancy-2018.