Well, not in total number of fine artists, but we do lead in fine artists per capita, a statistic that I, personally, much prefer. We beat out California, as well, trailing only three states known for their artist colonies: New Mexico, Vermont, and Hawaii. We also rank high in photographers (slightly below New York), the other category encompassing visual artists, and in writers and announcers. The data is in the just-released “Artists in the Workforce” report from the National Endowment for the Arts (PDF document here).
For those concerned with economics, the New York Times noted the following:
“It’s easy to talk about artists in lofty and spiritual terms,” said Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Without denying the higher purposes of the artistic vocation, it’s also important to remember that artists play an important role in America’s cultural vitality and economic prosperity. Artists have immense financial and social impact as well as cultural impact.”
Following are all the job categories in which Montana appears in the top 10. The numbers represent artists per 10,000 population.