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New Report: Rural Arts, Design, and Innovation in America

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Nov 17, 2017

Rural arts organizations draw more non-local audiences to their venues and report greater civic leadership and customer connectedness than their urban peers, according to a new research report, Rural Arts, Design, and Innovation in America: Research Findings from the Rural Establishment Innovation Survey. Published by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the report is based primarily on 2014 data from the U.S. 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.

NEA Director of Research & Analysis Sunil Iyengar said, “We’ve long understood that the arts and design can beautify a place and attract new residents and businesses. This report is unique in showing these attributes as closely linked to innovative business practices in rural communities nationwide.”
Among the report’s conclusions are:

Rural and urban communities

  • Two-thirds of all businesses (rural and urban) consider having local arts and entertainment organizations important for attracting workers.
  • Rural and urban arts organizations are equally likely to rate as “substantive innovators,” a designation by the Rural Establishment Innovation Survey that recognizes businesses that encourage new practices and products.
  • Arts businesses are unique within the service industry (that includes finance and insurance) for demonstrating innovation in both urban and rural settings through practices such as using surplus funds for innovative projects

Learn more about the report and download it here

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.