Research Resources

Research documents the contributions of the arts to the quality of life and economic strength of North Carolina. Ongoing analysis of data provides benchmarks for cultural development and helps inform strategic decisions about program investment.

Information about the arts is available from many different sources. Arts administrators, policy makers and academic researchers collect and analyze cultural data in the United States and abroad. Partnerships with national research organizations and government agencies enable accurate and accessible information about trends in the arts throughout North Carolina, the South and the rest of the country.

Printable tables and reports are available for viewing and download through the links below. Demographic data about North Carolina is also available on-line from many different primary sources.

If you have questions, please contact Ardath Weaver, Research Director,, 919-807-6522.

North Carolina Research

Facts and research about the arts in North Carolina are compiled by the North Carolina Arts Council.

A map of all 100 counties provides links to North Carolina organizations involved in arts programming.

Creative Industry and Creative Workforce measures are updated annually.

LINC: Log In To North Carolina is a web-based resource for statistical data from state and federal agencies, including census data and state demographics.

Access NC provides an overview of North Carolina statistics and economic development information.

North Carolina Center for Nonprofits serves the state’s nonprofit sector and compiles data about the nearly 10,000 organizations in N.C.

North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center serves the state’s 85 rural counties.


National Research

Studies are available on-line from the following resource links:

CPANDA, the Cultural Policy & the Arts National Data Archive, is an interactive digital archive of policy-relevant data on the arts and cultural policy in the United States, a collaborative effort of Princeton University’s Firestone Library and the Princeton Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies. Here you can find data on artists, arts and cultural organizations, arts funding, arts education, the arts and economic development, public participation in the arts, attitudes towards the arts, and other topics relevant to cultural policy-making.

National Endowment for the Arts Research Division
These reports and notes provide statistical summaries and comprehensive original research on trends and findings related to an NEA-funded arts discipline, to arts participation generally, or to arts access or artist employment.

Research Center for Arts and Culture
The Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC) at the National Center for Creative Aging provides data and ideas for applied research, education, advocacy, policy making, and action. Link here to an extensive bibliography of research about artists.

Americans for the Arts Research and Information
Arts leaders, elected officials, and citizen advocates need action-oriented research to advocate for better arts policy on the national, regional, and local level. Studies by Americans for the Arts make a strong case for the arts—in terms of economic, social, and educational benefits. Other research resources linked here include the National Arts Policy Database and a cultural policy listserv.

WolfBrown is a national consulting firm providing research-based knowledge to the cultural sector.

State Arts Agencies
The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies compiles research on the creative economy, arts education, arts participation, public art and cultural tourism and serves as a clearinghouse for issues affecting arts policy.

The Imagine Nation
The Arts Education Partnership features materials documenting that education in and through the arts is essential to invigorating the teaching of other fundamental school subjects and that the arts are essential to building a creative work force.

IFACCA Information Exchange
The International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) is the global network of national arts funding agencies. There are now quasi-governmental national bodies funding the arts in all parts of the world, in poor as well as wealthy nations, including many non-English-speaking countries. Scholars of cultural policy often view the development of independent arts councils, with artists directly involved in policy-making and grant-making, as one indicator of the emergence of a cultural democracy. This site provides tools and links for finding and sharing arts policy information.