Locals are familiar with art in and around Council Bluffs, but the art scene is also getting national attention, with the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area getting its first-ever ranking in the 2018 Arts Vibrancy Index.
The Arts Vibrancy Index, created by SMU's National Center for Arts Research, ranks more than 900 metropolitan areas across the country based upon levels of supply, demand, and government support for the arts in each community. Omaha-Council Bluffs received the 6th spot among medium-sized metros in the United States.
The organization writes:
The entire (metropolitan area) is dotted with public art displays, though in Council Bluffs the biggest arts and culture growth is concentrated in the South Main district. Pottawattamie Arts, Culture and Entertainment (PACE) is one of the leading institutions driving the area’s growth, and is nearing the end of its $27M capital campaign to build the new Hoff Family Arts and Culture Center that will be home to the Chanticleer Theater, Kanesville Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Nebraska, and the Kitchen Council.
The picturesque Loess Hills are noted in the rankings, as is the "truly collaborative spirit" which exists in Omaha and Council Bluffs, with "organizations and local patrons forming partnerships and collaborative activities designed to get young people in the area excited about music, theater, and art."
Council Bluffs was the only town in Iowa to be recognized in the 2018 rankings, and it was one of only three cities recognized within the midwest. Read more about the Most Vibrant Art Communities in America on the NCAR website.
Pro Tip: Find out more about Council Bluffs' public art with the new Otocast app!