top of page



The Texas Cultural Trust has announced the findings of a study conducted by leading researchers.

The 2021 State of the Arts Report, supported by the Houston Endowment, is the latest iteration of a biennial study and provides a comprehensive overview of the impact of the Arts and Culture Industry in Texas.

Key findings from the study include:

  • The Texas Arts and Culture Industry has grown more than 30% over the past decade, generating $6.1 billion for the Texas economy, totaling nearly $380 million in state sales tax revenue, and $50.1 billion in gross domestic product.

  • The creative sector employs nearly 900,000 Texans, representing one in 15 jobs.

  • The impact of public grant funding for Cultural Districts far surpassed the state's initial investment.

  • The arts boost tourism. In 2019, Texas tourism spending surpassed $83 billion. Not only do art and culture tourists stay longer and spend more, nearly one in four visitors participate in cultural tourism when traveling in Texas.

  • High school students who complete more arts courses are twice as likely to graduate, 22% more likely to attend college, and have up to 15% higher pass rates on standardized tests than students with fewer arts courses.

  • Arts education access is not equitable. Rural schools offer 70% less arts courses than suburban schools. Students in high-poverty schools have less access to the arts than students in low-poverty schools.

  • Young adults who had more arts experiences in high school are more likely to show civic-minded behavior than young adults who had less.

  • Attending a cultural event once every few months can result in a 32% lower risk of developing depression.

While the 2021 State of the Arts Report demonstrates how the arts and culture can power the Texas economy, quantifying the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be substantially different. The long-term effects of the pandemic are unknown, but the Trust believes the Arts and Culture Industry can reignite Texas by creating jobs, generating significant tax revenue, boosting tourism, attracting business, revitalizing communities, and improving the quality of life for all Texans.

Preliminary data for 2 quarters of 2020 showed:

  • An estimated loss of $2 billion in taxable sales created by Arts and Culture Industries;

  • An estimated loss of $127 million in sales tax revenue created by Arts and Culture Industries; and

  • A 42% reduction in Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue, which supports local art communities.

"Our state is poised for incredible economic growth through the arts and, with investment and policy leadership, our opportunities are endless," says Leslie Ward, president of AT&T Texas and TXCT board chair.

For more information on the Texas Cultural Trust, Art Can, and the 2021 State of the Arts Report, visit

bottom of page