Report Ranks Ann Arbor as One of the Nation’s 10 Most Arts-Vibrant Medium-Sized Cities


Ann Arbor has been named as one of the 10 most arts-vibrant medium-sized cities in the nation.

Ann Arbor continually ranks as one of the nation's top cities. This time it's named a Top-10 arts-vibrant medium-sized city. Photo taken from WEMU-FM 89.1's website.

We’ve topped yet another list!

Ann Arbor always seems to lead the pack when it comes to being a Top 10 city—best college town, place to raise a family, city for retirement, most educated city—you name it.

And whether it’s livability, real estate, visitor bureau, college sports, or academic rankings, we love being told that where we live is the best

We can add another gold star to the city’s list of accolades: a new report has named Ann Arbor as one of the 10 most arts-vibrant medium-sized cities in the nation.

SMU DataArts’ 2022 Arts Vibrancy Index Report examined the city based on its level of supply, demand, and public support for arts and culture.

Out of the report’s 947 communities, Ann Arbor ranked #91 for arts providers, #43 for arts dollars, and #42 for government support. 

In comparison to Ann Arbor’s 369,000 residents, medium-sized city populations range between 100,000 and 1 million people.

“One of the things that we do, specifically when we're looking at arts vibrancy, is we look for data sources that are available that cover every community across the United States,” said Daniel Fonner, SMU DataArts’ associate director for research, in a January 10 interview with Deb Polich on WEMU-FM 89.1’s creative:impact. “So, these are data sources that come from the Census Bureau, the IRS, Bureau of Statistics, and other sources where we can get data on every community.

“We want to make sure that we're not giving communities with better data sources more leverage in these types of analyses,” Donner said. “It wouldn't be fair or possible to all communities looking at these data sources. And then, we combine everything to create scores and comparisons across the country.”

You can hear the whole program here.

Lori Stratton is a library technician, writer for Pulp, and writer and editor of