Texas Cultural Trust 2015 State of the Arts Report


At the Texas Cultural Trust, our goal is to provide leadership to promote and highlight the importance of the arts in educating our children and sustaining our vibrant Texas economy. We believe that supporting the arts ensures Texas’ cultural and economic advantage for the future.

We know Arts and Culture enrich our lives, creating meaningful experiences, and memories. We also know they play an extraordinarily important role in our economy, creating jobs, and economic opportunity throughout the state. In fact, the Arts and Culture Industry generates $5.1 billion for our state’s economy, and contributes nearly $320 million in state sales tax revenue annually. This impact on the statewide economy has grown steadily since 2003, increasing 24.6 percent over the past 10 years.

In communities big and small, the arts generate tax revenue, create jobs, and help prepare Texas students to succeed in work and life. This year, for the first time, we have taken a look at the impact that arts education has on Texas students. The results are powerful. From increased pass rates, higher test scores, and improved attendance, the arts can have a profound impact on elevating student success across the board. For example, at-risk high school students who complete more than one art class are half as likely to drop out. It is clear that investment in arts education is investment in student success.

We also conducted a statewide survey of Texas voters to assess support for arts funding. Again, the results are powerful. Texans overwhelmingly support the arts, in fact, 80 percent of Texas voters support increased funding for the arts in schools.

Because of all of this new and compelling data we have decided to issue this “State of the Arts” report to detail the economic and educational impact of the arts on the state of Texas. The data are impressive, powerful and impactful.
It is our hope that all Texas will know, understand and appreciate that the arts provide a vital economic engine for Texas, and help ensure a successful future for Texas students.

In this report you will find detailed data and information on: 

  • The art of fueling our state economy.
  • The art of creating jobs.
  • The art of attracting tourists.
  • The art of building support.
  • The art of elevating student success.

The arts provide a vital economic engine for Texas and help ensure a successful future for students. The data on the following pages helps prove it. We hope you will join us in supporting the Arts and Culture Industry and improving access to arts education for all Texas students.

A special thank you to the Houston Endowment, a philanthropy endowed by Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones for funding this research

Download PDF