Arts & Culture: Metrics

There are a range of metrics that can be used to evaluate the state of arts and culture in the Tucson community. One measure is Tucson’s rating on Arts & Culture in the STAR Community Sustainability Rating System, a national rating system that assesses community-wide sustainability in a quantitative and comprehensive fashion. Southern Arizona’s Making Action Possible Dashboard also provides indicators on our region’s progress. Other metrics can be found through the Local Arts Index.

There are many other possible metrics, and we are interested in hearing what you think are important ways to measure success with respect to arts and culture and the policies in this section of Plan Tucson. To give us your ideas, click here.


STAR Sustainability Rating

The long-term sustainability outcome for arts and culture identified in Plan Tucson is that we want a community where:

Arts and culture icon


A broad range of arts, cultural, and heritage resources and activities are maintained and enhanced to reflect and promote the social, cultural, and economic diversity of the community, and to encourage participation, self-expression, and community cohesion.



Tucson was scored by the STAR Community Sustainability Rating System in the area of Arts & Culture.  The rating evaluated the extent to which the community provides a broad range of arts and cultural resources and activities that encourage participation and creative self-expression.

Tucson received a score of 12.9 out of a possible 15 points. On average, the first forty-six STAR certified communities scored 9.2 points. Tucson scored well, in part, because creative industries represent more than a 5% share of all businesses in the region. The community, however, failed to meet STAR’s minimum threshold for the percentage of residents annually attending both a museum and a live performing arts event.

Chart of Tucson's arts and culture STAR score

Making Action Possible (MAP) Dashboard

The MAP Dashboard shows how Tucson compares to other Western cities in the amount jobs in leisure and arts.

According to the MAP website, this metric is important because: “The number of workers per 10,000 residents in the arts, entertainment, and recreation employment categories provides a gauge of leisure opportunities available to both residents and visitors. As such, higher concentrations of employment in these recreational categories can improve the quality of life of the populace while generating economic activity in the form of tourism. These businesses also can provide a larger tax base for state and local governments through additional sales and employment. “