Known as the cultural powerhouse of the Southwest, The City of Santa Fe ranked #1 on the list of the “Top 10 Most Arts Vibrant Medium-sized Communities (population 100,000 – 1 million), in the 2020 Southern Methodist University (SMU) National Center for Arts Research (NCRA) Arts Vibrancy Index. This was the sixth annual report released by the National Center for Arts Research, which ranks cities on three dimensions of per capita arts metrics including: supply of arts providers, demand/arts dollars revenue and government support for the arts.

On the 2020 Index, Santa Fe remained in the #1 spot, which the city has held since 2018. Santa Fe scored extremely well in the category for government support and the amount of arts revenue and total arts dollars in the community. The full report can be found at

“We’re excited to be recognized as the best in the nation, especially as we continue to press our advantage and make the arts even more accessible and integrated to every part of our community,” said City of Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber. “Arts vibrancy isn’t just about the amount of art—it’s about the quality and the depth of art, the extent to which creativity has become part of the fabric of the community.”

This report is based on 2019 data and does not reflect the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but its findings help illustrate the critical role of the arts, both socially and economically, in cities and towns around the nation.

“The vibrant art scene that thrives in Santa Fe draws people to the city and offers a multitude of cultural experiences for visitors to enjoy while they are here,” Randy Randall, TOURISM Santa Fe Director said. “Our legacy as an arts-rich community is one of the characteristics that sets our city apart and keeps us at the top of these national rankings.”


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