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Nashville named a 'hotbed of America's arts and culture'


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  A new report ranks Nashville among the top arts communities in the nation.

The annual Arts Vibrancy Index is compiled by the National Center for Arts Research at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. This year Nashville ranked fourth behind behind San Francisco, New York, and Washington D.C.

The SMU study notes that Nashville scores especially high marks for the number of people employed locally in the arts and for the number of for-profit companies offering arts or cultural services.

The study suggests one place Nashville’s arts community could do better is in the number of federal arts grants dollars it pulls down. But Center for the Arts Research Director Zannie Voss says is benefiting from unusually large local contributions.

“That’s certainly a strength and you can see those investments percolating up throughout Nashville, both in terms of terms of music, but also in terms of world class visual arts and fashion.”

Voss takes special note of a program operated by the Nashville Arts and Business Council called Periscope. Periscope is training program and mentorship that helps 20 Nashville artists hone their business skills each year.

Council Director Jill McMillan says Periscope is open to most any type of artist.

“We’ve had spoken word, music, opera, performance art, sculpture, jewelry, dance, visual art of course; any genre…culinary art, graphic design. We have a pretty broad definition of the arts.”

Would you like to review the full 2018 Arts Vibrancy Index?

Use the links below to listen to the complete interviews with SMU’s Zannie Voss and the Nashville Council’s Jill McMillan.

Interview with Jill McMillan
Interview with Zannie Voss