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State of the Arts Report Released

State of the Arts Report Released

AMARILLO, TX(KAMR/KCIT) —The Texas Cultural Trust (TXCT), a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustaining and increasing support for a vibrant Texas where the arts encourage economic growth, creativity and excellence, announced the findings of a study conducted by leading researchers. The 2023 State of the Arts Report (SOTAR) is the latest iteration of a biennial study and provides a comprehensive overview of the impact of the arts and culture industry in Texas.

The SOTAR quantifies the social and economic value of the arts; measures the degree of access to the arts within Texas schools and communities; and highlights the increased use of the arts in improving health and well-being and enhancing social and emotional learning (SEL). The report also highlights how our thriving arts and culture industry boosts the Texas economy by creating jobs, generating significant tax revenue, boosting tourism, attracting business, revitalizing communities and improving the quality of life for all Texans.

“The 2023 State of the Arts Report underscores our conviction that art has power,” says Heidi Marquez Smith, TXCT Chief Executive Officer. “More specifically, the arts and culture industry has the power to boost the Texas economy, enhance our children’s education, unite our communities and improve our health and well-being. Our goal is to showcase how funding is critical to the success of our state by making the arts accessible.”

Key findings from the study include:

  • The Texas arts and culture industry has grown more than 30% over the past decadegenerating $6 billion for the Texas economy and nearly $380 million in state sales tax revenue,
  • The impact of public grant funding Cultural Districts have far surpassed the state’s initial investment, earning a two-to-one return on investment for the state’s economy. Cultural Districts create jobs, generate significant tax revenue, boost tourism, attract business and revitalize communities.
  • Across Texas 845,000 people are employed in creative careerswhich represents 1 in 15 jobs.
  • 1 in 4 visitors to Texas participate in cultural tourism. Arts and culture tourists stay longer, bring more people and spend more money than non-cultural tourists.
  • Texas high school students who enrolled in more arts courses had better attendance, higher pass rates on standardized testsand were more likely to attend college than their peers taking only the minimum arts requirement.
    • Students are up to 112% more likely to earn an exceptional score on standardized tests.
    • Students are 20% more likely to attend college.
    • Students are 42% more likely to attend a four-year college or university.
  • Arts education access is not equitable, Rural schools offer 70% fewer arts courses than suburban schools. Students in high-poverty schools have less access to the arts than students in low-poverty schools.
  • In Texas, across all subjects, students who are economically disadvantaged were more likely to pass standardized tests when highly engaged in the arts.
  • Young adults who had more arts experiences in high school are more likely to show civic minded behavior than young adults who had less.
  • Attending just one cultural event a month reduces the risk of developing depression by 48%.
  • Music therapy can decrease post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms by 30%,
  • Listening to a prescribed music playlist can improve blood flow through damaged parts of a stroke patient’s brain by 18%,

The SOTAR shows a direct correlation between a child’s access to the arts and academic outcomes and achievements. The arts better prepare Texas students for the 21st-century workforce, enhancing the likelihood of career success and meaningful contributions to the Texas economy.

The research reflects how the arts and culture industry helps the Texas economy exceed national averages for pandemic recovery by generating critical tax revenue, creating much-needed jobs, appealing to businesses, improving the quality of life for Texans and ensuring visitors enjoy their time in the To install Lone Star State.

The arts continue to prove they can be used to support health and well-being as an effective form of treatment. Therapies like music, dancing and painting enhance overall physical, mental and emotional health while encouraging healthy behaviors, reducing stress and increasing social interactions.

“Public support for our creative sector ensures all Texans have access to the arts,” said Leslie Ward, TXCT Board Chair. “The steady increase and interest in cultural events throughout the state makes clear how much Texans value the arts.”

For more information on the Texas Cultural Trust, Art Can, and the 2023 State of the Arts Report, visit ArtCanTexas.org,

Organizational Partners include: Texas Commission on the Arts and Texans for the Arts.

Sponsors include: AT&T; HEB; WoodNext Foundation; Sarah & Ernest Butler; Anheuser-Busch; The Tobin Endowment; Four Hands Home; The University of Texas College of Fine Arts; Frost Bank; Judy & Kirk Robison; Ray Benson; Woody and Gale Hunt Family Foundation; Texas Monthly; Leslie and Jack Blanton; Kelli & Eddy Blanton; OXY; Southwest; Karen & Charles W. Matthews; The Texas Tribune; Jocelyn Strauss; and The University of Texas at Austin.



The Texas Cultural Trust is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and increasing access and awareness for the arts, artists, arts education and creative sector across the state. Programs of the Texas Cultural Trust include the Texas Medal of Arts Awards, Art Can, Texas Young Masters, Texas Women for the Arts, Partners in the Arts, and Arts Access. Texas Cultural Trust’s efforts are amplified by its partners, who are instrumental in the success of leading a cohesive voice for the arts in education, advocacy and economic impact in Texas, while spotlighting the creative excellence of our state. For more information on the Texas Cultural Trust, please visit www.TxCulturalTrust.org.


Through Art Can, the Texas Cultural Trust conducts research and publishes data quantifying the economic and educational impact of the arts in Texas. Art Can analyzes employment and wages within the creative sector, along with tax revenue and tourism spending pertaining to arts and culture. Art Can also studies individual school districts, analyzing student access to arts education and its relation to academic outcome and overall success. The findings are unequivocal, highlighting the arts as vital to the development of young minds and a strong economy. In this way, Art Can serves as an invaluable resource for Texas parents, educators, the public, policymakers and private entities. The data culled informs all Texas Cultural Trust programs and spurs the development of new initiatives to increase public funding and support for arts and culture in the state.

Every two years, the Trust gathers leading researchers to quantify the social and economic value of the arts in our state. The 2023 State of the Arts Report continues that tradition, now augmented with research in the areas of arts education, social and emotional learning, and arts in health.


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