Bozeman Ranks #7 on the 2020 Arts Vibrancy Index

Thursday Oct. 22nd, 2020

Bozeman has been named the seventh most arts-vibrant medium-size community across the nation in 2020, returning to the list from 2017. 

The sixth annual Arts Vibrancy Index Report, compiled by SMU DataArts, a national center for arts research at Southern Methodist University, ranks more than 900 communities across the country examining the level of supply, demand, and government support for the arts in each city. According to the report, Bozeman ranks 9th in the country on independent artists and 11th on arts, culture, and entertainment firms per capita, driving it to the 13th spot overall on Arts Providers for medium-size communities with populations between 100,000 and 1,000,000. 

The SMU DataArts press release states, while the report is based on 2019 data and therefore does not reflect the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, its findings help illustrate the critical role of the arts, both socially and economically, in cities and towns around the nation. At this historic moment, the report also serves as a pre-pandemic benchmark of where the most arts-vibrant communities are located. 

Bozeman Symphony Executive Director Emily Paris-Martin has been with the organization for more than 17 years and has experienced first-hand the impact arts have on the community. “As a performing musician and arts administrator, I have always seen strong support for the arts in Bozeman. It is exciting to see our community recognized on a national level. With the growth that Bozeman is experiencing, the study solidifies the demand for arts and culture in our community.”

In the report, the Bozeman Symphony was listed as a local landmark arts organization, along with the Arts Council of Big Sky, Intermountain Opera Company, Equinox Theatre Company, Montana Ballet Company, and Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture. Bozeman was also recognized for its many unique museums, The Bozeman Public Library, and Montana State University’s diverse arts department. 

“It is an honor to be represented along with many of Bozeman’s beloved arts organizations and artists who add to the dynamic of a thriving arts scene in our community,” said Emily. “The study recognizes the vibrancy we’ve all come to love as the arts inspire and inform our own lives. It is a wonderful reminder during a challenging time.” 

From the onset of COVID-19, the Bozeman Symphony, like many arts organizations across the nation, has learned to adapt and come up with new innovative ways to connect to the community. Recently, the Bozeman Symphony presented its first-ever Ranch Around concert series hosted by The 1915 Barn and The Big Yellow Barn. These unique open-air concerts featured Music Director Norman Huynh along with musicians from the Bozeman Symphony and guest violinist William Hagen. This was Norman’s first conducting and programming debut as the new Music Director for two sold-out performances.  

The Symphony wishes to thank the community at large for supporting the arts, and a special thanks to David Ross and Risi for their season sponsorship and the season subscribers, donors, and patrons who have provided support through these extraordinary times. The Bozeman Symphony is fully committed to serving its role as a leading arts institution in the community and believes music will move us forward. To read the entire 2020 Arts Vibrancy Index Report, please visit