A recently released study by the National Endowment for the Arts discloses that 1 in 4 US artists are in the top five metropolitan areas, and 17 percent live in either New York City or Los Angeles/Long Beach.
These largest two urban centers lead the nation in numbers of resident artists, and also have the highest concentrations of artists.
According to Arts Endowment chairman Frank Hodsoll, the data are useful to the endowment and other arts agencies.
''By showing where the artists live, and where they are moving to, it helps us to identify new areas of need and opportunity.
''The data can also inform the development of a strategy to improve access to the arts for all Americans, whether through local arts organization, touring, or the media.''
The report also notes:
* The leading cities in concentration of artists, besides New York and Los Angeles/Long Beach, are Las Vegas, Nev.; San Francisco; Honolulu; Austin, Texas; Seattle/Everett; the Washington metropolitan area; Boston; and Tucson, Ariz.
* The 60 largest metropolitan areas are home for about 65 percent of all US artists, but only 50 percent of the total civilian work force.
* The proportion of artists who are women is quite uniform in the 60 largest metropolitan areas, but is generally lower than the share of women in the civilian labor force.
* Participation of minorities in artist occupations varies greatly from city to city, averaging only 57 percent of their concentration in the civilian labor force.
Previous studies have shown a shift in the proportion of the artist population toward the Southern region of the country.
New York and Los Angeles, however, still retain their preeminence as the leading urban centers (more than 2 percent of their civilian labor force being artists).