Flags fly outside the Juneau Arts and Culture Center on July 25, just before the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council officially celebrated its 50 anniversary. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)

Neighbors: Juneau ranked eighth among 10 most arts-vibrant small communities in the nation

SMU DataArts, the National Center for Arts Research, on Oct. 26 released its 8th Arts Vibrancy Index, which identifies Juneau as number eight in the list of 10 small communities in the United States through an analysis of the level of supply, demand and government support for the arts in more than 900 communities across the country.

Organized into three separate lists based on community population size, totaling 40 communities across the country, this year’s Arts Vibrancy Index is the first to include numerical rankings since 2020, a reflection of arts organizations returning to in-person activities and performances following the easing of pandemic restrictions. Juneau is returning to the Arts Vibrancy Index for the first time since 2018 and is ranked eighth on the annual list of the top 10 most arts-vibrant small communities across the nation.

Related research by SMU DataArts shows that Local Arts Agencies (LAAs) like the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council are powerful catalysts of arts vibrancy which ensure that the arts remain an integral part of community life.

Fluctuations in a community’s ranking occur from year to year for a variety of reasons, including the opening of an arts district or closing of a performance space as well as local economic conditions.

Arts-vibrant communities can be found in every region of the United States—a finding which arises from an objective analysis of the data, and not from selecting communities by hand to achieve geographic representation.

Rankings of small communities (population <100,000)

Small communities are defined as areas with populations under 100,000.

1. Jackson, WY-ID

2. Brevard, NC

3. Steamboat Springs, CO

4. Bennington, VT

5. Easton, MD

6. Glenwood Springs, CO

7. Hailey, ID

8. Juneau, AK

9. Brookings, SD

10. Oneonta, NY

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