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Arts & Culture

Houston Ranks Second In State Of The Arts Report

A new statewide report shows the arts have a big economic impact in Texas. But is Texas giving back to the arts?


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Street art near downtown Houston

The Texas Cultural Trust is a state-wide arts advocacy organization. Every two years – to coincide with Texas' legislative session – the Trust releases its State of the Arts report.

The 2017 report says the arts generated about $5.5 billion for the state, up from about $5.1 billion in 2015.

Jennifer Ransom Rice, Executive Director of the Trust says that's compared to the meager investment the state makes in the arts of around $7 million annually.

"Well, sadly, we just found out that we are 46th in the United States in per capita funding for the arts. You could not pay for an hour of public parking in downtown Austin for what the State of Texas spends per person on the arts."

The arts in Texas remain largely funded by private donations. Houston ranks as the second most robust arts economy in the state. In 2015, the Houston region generated over $1 billion in taxable arts industry sales. Rice had glowing praise for Houston’s support of the arts.

"Houston has always had such an incredible arts scene, so rich and robust in arts patronage from Houstonians. They really set the example for the rest of the state in what it looks like to support the arts, from the private sector as well as from the public sector."

The Dallas/Plano/Irving metro region ranked first in the state for taxable arts sales, generating $1.2 billion.

Hear Houston Public Media’s full interview with Jennifer Ransom Rice, including her prediction for the impact on Texas of potential cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts. See the full 2017 State of the Arts report below.


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