Traverse City ranked a top 10 vibrant arts community

Mar 30, 2016

Traverse City is once again ranked among the country’s most vibrant arts communities.

The second annual Arts Vibrancy Index released by Southern Methodist University, puts the northern Michigan city at number 10 on the list among small to mid-sized communities.

That’s a 10 spot jump in ranking. The same study ranked Traverse City 20th on the last year’s list.

Dr. Zannie Voss is the director for SMU’s National Center for Arts Research. She says it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why Traverse City had the big jump and says the rankings are relative from year to year.

“It could be things that are done differently within Traverse City that have elevated some of the rankings on particular dimensions”, says Voss. “It could be that in some of the other markets, some of their rankings on dimensions went down.”

The index ranks more than 900 communities across the nation, and looks at the level of supply, demand and government support for arts in each city on a per capita basis. It also looks at how the artists and arts organizations engage with the community directly.

“Since arts organizations don’t operate in a vacuum we assume that the community’s characteristics also have some influence on the operating environment for organizations,” Voss says.

Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Great Lakes Children’s Museum and the City Opera House all play an important factor in the top 10 ranking.

The report cites Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Traverse City Film Festival, the Great Lakes Children’s Museum and the City Opera House among others as important factors for the ranking.

Jackson, Wyoming was the number one vibrant arts spot among small to mid-sized communities. The Washington, D.C. community held its number one spot for a second straight year for areas with a population larger than 1 million.