For the third time in four years, Vineyard Haven has been named one of the country's top 10 arts-vibrant small communities in the annual Arts Vibrancy Index Report from SMU Data Arts, the National Center for Arts Research at Southern Methodist University.

To arrive at the rankings, researchers looked at metrics including the number of independent artists; revenue, expenses and payroll for arts and cultural organizations; and the amount of state and federal arts funding and grants.

Number six on this year's list—and the top community in the eastern U.S.—Vineyard Haven also appeared on the center's 2019 and 2017 top 10 lists for communities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000. But according to the report, its ranking reflects arts activity across the Island and not just in Tisbury:

"All 10 communities listed here are considered Micropolitan Statistical Areas by the Census Bureau, meaning they are counties with a principal city that has a population between 10,000 and 50,000, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of integration with that core city. The Census Bureau names the MSA for the principal city rather than the county. However, it is important to keep in mind that all MSAs are comprised of at least one county, so we capture the activity of the entire county, not just the principal city."

The top five small communities on the list are all in the West: the Jackson area of Wyoming and Idaho; Steamboat Springs, Colo.; Heber, Utah; Hailey, Ida. and Glenwood Springs, Colo.

Oneonta and Hudson in New York, Bennington, Vt. and Hood River, Ore. round out the list.

The complete Arts Vinrancy Index Report, including maps and top 10 lists for medium-sized and large communities, is posted online at