• About the Project
Goals & Indicators:
Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Economic Impact of Creative Cluster Industries
  • Total Arts-Related Businesses by County
  • Total Arts-Related Employment by County

According to Americans for the Arts, as of 2012 there were nearly 21,000 creative industry enterprises in Massachusetts, employing more than 85,000.  This includes more than 27,000 employed in design, advertising and architecture, more than 14,000 employed in movies, radio or television, and nearly 12,000 performance artists.

Middlesex County in Greater Boston has the most creative businesses with more than 5,600 employing roughly 24,000 followed by Suffolk county—which includes Boston—that has more than 2,600 creative businesses employing almost 22,000.

The nonprofit cultural sector also contributes to the state’s economy.  According to the New England Foundation for the Arts, total direct and indirect employment stemming from nonprofit arts organizations was 42,378 with a total economic impact of $4.765 billion as of 2009.

Cultural Sector Funding by State
  • National Endowment for Arts Grants by State

In FY2012 Massachusetts received $9,199,866 in funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, about $3 million more than the Massachusetts Cultural Council received from the state legislature.  In total dollar amount, this was the 5th highest allocation of funding to states behind New York, Minnesota, New Jersey and Maryland.  However, this equates to $1.41 in funding per resident, ranking Massachusetts 12th in per capita funding, well behind leaders Washington DC at $6.68 and Minnesota at $5.59 per capita in FY12.  Overall, Massachusetts was just one of 14 states to have an increase in NEA funding between FY11 and FY12.

Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Impact on the Local and Regional Tourist Industry
  • Estimated Number of Visitors to Boston and Monetary Impact of Tourism

According to the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, 27.4 million people visited Metro Boston in 2011, up 4.1% from 2010, with 21.2 million visiting Boston and Cambridge, up 3.9% from 2010.  The number of foreign travelers to Boston and Cambridge reached 1.25 million, up 5.6% from 2010 with a majority traveling to the region for leisure.  Some 9.9 million visitors attended a major museum or cultural attraction in 2011, up 8.6% from 2010.

Attendance at Major Spectacles and Events
  • Attendance at Cultural Institutions
Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Distribution of Arts Organizations in Relation to Child Population
  • Location of Arts Facilities and Children, Boston Neighborhood

Boston continues to have a higher concentration of arts and cultural facilities in the neighborhoods with fewer children.  Conversely, those areas of the city with more children and more families have fewer local options for arts appreciation and activities. 

Boston’s children are highly concentrated in the neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and East Boston.  However, according to the New England Foundation for the Arts, there are just 59 cultural organization in Roxbury, 115 in Dorchester, 39 in East Boston and 23 in Hyde Park.  By Comparison, there are nearly 300 in Back Bay and the South End and more than 230 in Fenway/Kenmore which are home to fewer of Boston's children

Free or Reduced Price Events or Tickets

The City of Boston continues to increase access to free and reduced price arts and cultural facilities, organizations and celebrations across all neighborhoods.  The department of Arts, Tourism & Special Events continues to increase awareness of cultural activities in the performing arts, visual arts, parades, feasts and festivals as well as Boston Open Studios with events in twelve of the city's neighborhoods.  

ArtsBoston also provides a comprehensive calendar of free arts and cultural events around Greater Boston and hosts BosTix where discounted tickets to visual and performing arts can be purchased.

ArtsBoston is also currently supporting the ArtsBoston Audience Initiative which will provide comprehensive data on cultural participants and audience members which will help ensure that residents from all neighborhoods have equal opportunity to access the arts.

Universal Access to Arts & Culture
Universal Design of the city and its buildings is essential to ensuring quality of life for the roughly 12% of Bostonians (about 70,000) with audio, visual, cognitive, ambulatory or self-care difficulties with consideration of needs across life stages.  In the same time, some 5% of children under 18, 9% of the working-age population aged 18 to 64 and 43% of those 65 years and older had some disability.

VSA Massachusetts provides programming and advocacy to promote the involvement of people of all abilities in arts and cultural activities.  Programs include Cool Schools to promote inclusive learning strategies for arts participation in the classroom, Open Door Gallery for artists of all abilities to premiere their work, and Cultural Inclusion that is currently helping 12 organizations to develop inclusive programming.

Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Diversity of Arts Organizations by Neighborhood
  • Arts Organizations by Type, Boston Neighborhoods

While Downtown and Central Boston have the most arts and cultural destinations, neighborhoods such East Boston, Dochester, Roxbury, Mattapan, Roslindale, and West Roxbury have far fewer.  However, different types of organizations are distributed differently across the city.  The largest number of museums and visual arts organizations are located in Central Boston neighborhoods such as Beacon Hill, the North End and the West End as well as Back Bay and Fenway.  However, ethnic arts organizations and performing arts organizations are well concentrated in the neighborhoods of Boston such as Dorchester, Roxbury and Jamaica Plain.

Dedicated Artsists Housing Units
  • Artist Housing Units

Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Demographically Representative Leadership of Arts Organizations
The most recent data on diversity in the cultural sector comes from a 2007 study by UMASS-Boston’s McCormack Graduate School for Policy Studies that showed racial and gender diversity is high among the 526 Board of Director positions of Massachusetts’ major cultural institutions, and quite closely reflects statewide demographics.  Of those identified, 79% of board members are white, 15% are African American and 3.4% are Asian.  However, Latinos represent only 1.6% of cultural institution board members.  Gender representation on cultural boards is nearly equitable, with men holding 59% of the seats and women with 41% of board positions.
Public Ethnic Celebrations in Boston Neighborhoods
  • Public Ethnic Celebrations in Boston Neighborhoods

Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Teachers Dedicated to the Arts in Boston Public Schools
  • BPS Arts Teachers

As of 2010-11, Boston Public Schools employed 170 full-time equivalent arts teachers up from 146 in 2007-08 and 143 in 1009-10.  A majority of BPS schools have fewer than 3 full-time equivalent arts teachers, however Orchard Gardens employed 5 arts teachers, the Curley K-8 employed 6, and Boston Arts Academy--the city's only public high school dedicated to the arts--employed 12 full-time equivalent arts teachers.

Students Receiving In-School Arts Instruction
  • Percent of Students Receiving Weekly Arts Education

Since the launch of the Arts Expansion Initiative in 2009, more than 9,000 additional Boston Public School students received weekly in-school arts education.  As of 2011, 81% of students in kindergarten through grade eight had weekly, year-long arts classes, up from 67% in 2009, and nearly half of all high school students received arts instruction of any kind, up from 26% in 2009. 

Children and Youth Participation in Afterschool Arts Programming

Though data on participation does is not currently available, there are more than 100 organizations providing after school arts and cultural programming to youth of all ages according to BostoNavigator.  The greatest number of organizations are located in Dorchester, with nearly 40, followed by a combined 29 in Central Boston, Back Bay and the South End, there were 13 organizations listed in Roxbury, and less than 10 in all other neighborhoods of Boston.  BostoNavigator provides detailed programming information for all of Boston's out-of-school time programs and opportunities.

Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Designated Funding for the Arts in MA
  • Massachusetts Cultural Council Funding
  • Cultural Facilities Fund

In FY2012 the Massachusetts legislature appropriated $6.2 million for the Massachusetts Cultural Council—the fourth consecutive year of funding cuts which has fallen by 52% from the most recent high of $13 million in FY2009.  At its peak, the legislature allocated more than $16 million to the MCC in FY2002.

Funding for the Cultural Facilities Fund was zeroed out in FY2012 for the third consecutive year.  At its inception, the CFF received $13 million from the legislature and it was last funded at $6 million in FY2009.