State of the Arts Report

Jump To

The Arts Work for Texas

Through Art Can, the Texas Cultural Trust conducts research and publishes data to quantify the impact of the arts and creative sectors on the economy, education, culture, and health and well-being of Texas. These findings are published in the biennial State of the Arts Report.

The 2023 State of the Arts Report demonstrates the unequivocal impact the arts have in shaping the cultural, economic, and educational future of Texas. In this way, the State of the Arts Report serves as a resource for Texas artists, arts organizations and advocates, educators, policymakers, parents, philanthropists, and others to increase support and funding for arts and culture in the state.

Texas high school students enrolled in more arts courses had higher attendance rates than their peers taking only the minimum arts requirement. They were also:

  • Up to 112% more likely to earn an exceptional score on standardized tests
  • 20% more likely to attend college
  • 42% more likely to attend a four-year college or university
View the Full Report

Texas students highly engaged in the arts are up to 112% more likely to earn an exceptional score on standardized tests

Arts education prepares the 21st century workforce by developing core competency and interpersonal skills: creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration. Across Texas, nearly 845,000 people are employed in creative careers, which represents 1 in 15 jobs.

The Texas Arts and Culture Industry has grown more than 30% over the past decade, generating $6 billion for the Texas economy and nearly $380 million in state sales tax revenue.

The impact of public grant funding for cultural districts far surpassed the state’s initial investment. Cultural Districts create jobs, generate significant tax revenue, boost tourism, attract business, and revitalize communities.

Cultural District Study

1 in 4 visitors in Texas participate in cultural tourism. Arts and culture tourists stay longer, bring more people, and spend more money than non-culture tourists.

View the Full Report

The Arts and Creative Industry generated $6 billion for the Texas economy

1 in 15 Texas Jobs are Creative Careers

The arts and Creative Arts Therapies are improving physical, mental, and emotional health, encouraging healthy behaviors, reducing stress, and increasing social interactions. 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%.

View the Full Report

The Arts can reduce the risk of depression by 48%

Cultural District Study

Cultural Districts create jobs, generate significant tax revenue, boost tourism, attract business, revitalize communities, and improve the quality of life for all Texans.

The Texas Cultural Trust commissioned a 2023 study of four Cultural Districts examining and evaluating growth and sustainability over the past five years. Communities with Cultural District designation realized benefits and outcomes that extended beyond the arts. Indicators that were positively affected included: population, local sales tax collections, appraised property values, assessed property values, and event and activity attendance.

Cultural District Study

Take Action

SHARE THE ARTS. Pass on these findings. Tell your fellow Texans about the important impact the arts have on education, the economy, and our way of life.

UNDERSTAND THE ARTS. Learn about arts education access in your community by visiting

ADVOCATE FOR THE ARTS. Encourage your elected officials and school board members to support access to the arts and arts education. Use our tools at

SUPPORT THE ARTS. Learn more about how to promote and support the arts in Texas, or by contacting the Texas Cultural Trust directly.

ENGAGE WITH THE ARTS. Stay informed about the state of the arts in Texas by following the Texas Cultural Trust on social media.

BECOME A PARTNER IN THE ARTS. We invite you to join us in our efforts to ensure equitable access to the arts for all Texans. Join Partners in the Arts.

The Research

Economic Impact Data
Research into the economic impact of the Arts and Culture Industry, creative sector occupations, Core and Supporting Arts Industries, and tourism was conducted for the Texas Cultural Trust by Travis James of TXP, Inc. The research utilized data sets from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Economic Development and Tourism Division of the Office of the Governor, and D.K. Shifflet & Associates. The objectives of the research were to assess the statewide economic impact of the 41 industry sectors that comprise the Arts and Culture Industry, the 13,400 Arts and Culture Industry businesses throughout Texas that employ nearly 133,000 workers, and the impact of the Arts and Culture Industry on travel and tourism dollars.

Arts Education Impact Data
Research on the arts’ impact on students was conducted for the Texas Cultural Trust by MINDPOP researchers Dr. Brent Hasty and Dr. Cinda Christian. The study utilized Texas Education Agency (TEA) data for every Texas student enrolled as a 9th grader in 2014-2015 and in 2015-2016, and the associated demographic, attendance, enrollment, and STAAR testing data available for the following three years. In addition, the researchers requested the same students’ enrollment in postsecondary education data from the Higher Education Coordinating Board. Logistic regression was conducted to ascertain the relationship between arts participation and academic outcomes (STAAR exam results, graduation, and postsecondary enrollment). Overall, we found significant relationships between arts participation and student academic outcomes, even when controlling demographic and community factors. Significance was measured against the predetermined p<.05 criterion, but all relationships met the p<.001 standard.

Arts Education Access Data
Research on student access to the arts was conducted for the Texas Cultural Trust by MINDPOP researchers Dr. Brent Hasty and Dr. Cinda Christian. The study utilized Texas Education Agency (TEA) data from the 2018-2019 school year for all schools in every district across the state. In addition, public campus-level data with student demographics was downloaded directly from the TEA website. Analyses of variance (ANOVA) at the campus level were examined to ascertain the relationship between the community classifications (Urban, Suburban, and Rural) and the four campus-level arts outcomes (Fine Arts Course Proportion, Fine Arts Course Enrollments, Fine Arts Teacher Staffing Full-Time Equivalents [FTE] Proportion, and Students per Fine Arts Teacher FTE). Because school structures and programs differ greatly by school level (i.e., elementary and secondary), analyses were also run separately for each level. In addition, analyses were conducted by economic status (i.e., campuses with 50% or more students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunches and campuses with less than 50% qualifying). There were significant differences in each of the arts outcomes between schools in different community classifications overall, by level, and by economic status. Significance was measured against the predetermined p<.05 criterion, but nearly all relationships met the p<.001 standard.

Elementary Arts Teacher Certification Analysis
Data analysis evaluating the varying levels of arts education access offered to children in elementary grades across Texas was conducted for the Texas Cultural Trust by Joseph Shuffield. The study utilized statewide education data from the Texas Education Agency for the 2018-2019 school year, including fine arts teacher record data, teacher certification data, student enrollment data, and district demographics data. The study analyzed these datasets with a focus on elementary students’ access to both fine arts classes and to certified educators in art, music, and theatre.

Social and Emotional Learning
Research on arts education and social and emotional learning was conducted for the Texas Cultural Trust by Dr. Robin A. Ward, who is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Mathematics and the Director of Curriculum Integration at the Rice University School Mathematics Project, as well as a former aerospace engineer. Dr. Ward conducted a literature review of 192 sources, researching the topics of arts education, social and emotional learning, and academic outcomes.

Health and Well-Being Data
Research on Arts in Health was conducted for the Texas Cultural Trust by Shay Thornton Kulha, the Operations Manager for the Center for Performing Arts Medicine at Houston Methodist and an instructor for the Arts in Health graduate certificate program at the University of Houston. Kulha conducted a review of prominent statewide Arts in Health programs.

Texas Voter and Parent Survey
Mike Baselice, of Baselice and Associates, Inc., oversaw the Texas Cultural Trust’s 2018 Texas Voter Survey, which was conducted from August 13 to 21, 2018 among n=600 Texas voters to measure their attitudes about increased funding for arts education. The poll was conducted online and carries a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percentage points.

Art Can Map
January Advisors is a data science consulting firm that works with nonprofits and government agencies. They work on data and public policy projects in various fields, including housing, criminal justice, climate change, social services, and education. Jeff Reichman is the founder of January Advisors and is responsible for the data visualization in the Art Can Map found at

Creative & Design
The 2023 Art Can branding campaign, State of the Arts Report, and video/photography were developed by Arts+Labor, a full-service creative content company in Austin. Arts+Labor specializes in commercial production, film and documentary, and graphic design with a special emphasis on Texas culture and artists.

Report Sources

Information on the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program (TMIIIP) was provided by the Texas Film Commission, Economic Development and Tourism Division of the Governor’s Office.

The National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH) commissioned a white paper, “Arts, Health, and Well-Being in America,” that was published in September 2017. Research for the white paper was conducted under the direction of J. Todd Frazier, who is the president and one of the founders of NOAH and the director of the Houston Methodist Center for Performing Arts Medicine, which sponsored the paper. The report provides an overview of the different artistic approaches that promote health in common use today from the perspective of scholars and practitioners in the field.

Information about the skill sets needed to power the 21st century workforce came from P21: Partnership for 21st Century Learning’s report “Framework for 21st Century Learning,” published in 2016. P21’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for 21st century learning by building collaborative partnerships among education, business, community, and government leaders so that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in a world where change is constant and learning never stops.

Information about students’ social and emotional learning came from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ study “A View Into a Decade of Arts Integration,” published in the Journal for Learning Through the Arts in 2014.


Texas Commission on the Arts
The mission of the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) is to advance our state economically and culturally by investing in a creative Texas. TCA supports a diverse and innovative arts community in Texas, throughout the nation, and internationally by providing resources to enhance economic development, arts education, cultural tourism, and artist sustainability initiatives.

Texans for the Arts
Texans for the Arts (TFA) is a highly effective, non-partisan, statewide arts advocacy organization that provides coordinated information about legislative activity related to arts issues and organizes advocacy efforts in order to protect and increase public funding for the arts at the state, national and local levels. For more information, visit

2023 Sponsors