Thursday, June 12, 2008

Washington DC Ranks 4th with Working Artists

The National Endowment for the Arts released a study of census data on working artists in the United States.

Some Statistics released yesterday:

* 2 million people earn a living as an artist today compared with 1.7 million in 1990.

* The Washington, DC region has the fourth-highest number of artists in 50 metro areas in the United States following Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.

* There are 47,000 artists in the Washington metro area...10,000 in the district alone.

Read this informative article about the earning power of Artists in todays Washington Post HERE


  1. Anne: The NEA site is swamped this morning, but other sourcess say the report claims median annual income of artists is $34,800. Even that pathetic figure is probably an exaggeration.

    Here's why: Despite advances in statistical studies of the arts economy at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere, it seems this NEA report uses overly-broad interpretations of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System to identify "artists." A dead giveaway is the inclusion of 2330 Announcers in the DC artist population. Does NEA give grants to "Voice-Over Artists" now? I think not.

    Dollars to donuts the DC press corps is included in the artist category, too. While much of today's journalism is indeed fiction, it is bad form to admit it, and reporters get fired when caught.

    The NEA, I fear, will also be caught red-handed in this absurd statistical misrepresentation, and the repercussions for the entire arts community will be grave.

  2. More bloggers on this subject at: and

  3. That really surprises me! I always thought I didn't like DC because it wasn't artsy enough, and really wanted to go to one of the Top3 cities. But I mean, if we're only one rank down...