Boy with violin, girl with paintbrush, and girl with headphones pose for a picture

Texas Cultural Trust Releases 2019 State of the Arts Report

by Texas Cultural Trust

Newly released research and data show:

  • Students enrolled in arts courses attend school more regularly and have up to 15% higher pass rates on standardized tests.
  • Students with at least one arts credit were twice as likely to stay in school.
  • Access to arts education improves overall academic performance and leads to an 11.5% increase in college enrollment, immediately following high school graduation.

“Through our research we’re also able to recognize the impact the arts have on building a 21st century workforce that powers the Texas economy,” said Heidi Marquez-Smith, Texas Cultural Trust Executive Director. “Today, the Texas creative sector employs nearly 800,000 Texans, that’s one in 15 jobs, and that number is projected to increase by 17% or 144,000 new jobs by 2026. We can’t ignore this impact.”

The economic research, compiled from state and federal data sets, shows:

  • Taxable revenue from the Arts & Culture Industry has grown by 15.5% over the past decade.
  • In 2017 alone, the Arts & Culture Industry generated $5.59 billion in taxable sales for the Texas economy, totaling nearly $350 million in state sales tax revenue.
  • The report also details the impact of the arts on Texas’ travel and tourism industry, which surpassed $75 billion in 2017, an approximate 9% increase from 2015.

Supported by the Houston Endowment, the 2019 State of the Arts Report builds on 2015 and 2017 data that investigated the impact of arts education on Texas students, and availability of arts courses in public schools. This year, the Trust expanded through extensive research that includes campus-level arts access data and health and well-being impact.

To further inform and motivate Texans to support increased arts access in their schools and communities, the Trust’s Art Can map has new functions that allow users to search and compare arts education access among legislative districts and school districts based on campus and district level data. This data identifies and measures arts access based on percentage of arts courses compared to all course offerings, number of arts courses offered per school, and student to fine arts teacher ratio.

“The 2019 report furthers our mission by equipping arts organizations, educators, cultural districts, artists, elected officials, and all Texans with quantitative data to help garner support and investment for the arts and arts education,” said Marquez-Smith. The 2019 State of the Arts Report and interactive Art Can map can be accessed, downloaded, and shared at