NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Art has a way of touching our lives. It can inspire creativity, jealousy, pride, and passion, among a wide range of emotions. Art comes in many forms, whether it is looking at a painting on the wall of a museum, reading a work of great literature, listening to the notes and sounds of music that can move you to tears, or watching the carefully choreographed movements of dancers on a stage as they try to tell you a story.
For many looking to pursue a career in the arts, they must first find the right place of instruction. While some are born with great talents, others need the structure and guidance of a mentor to carefully strengthen their craft. For some people that means finding the right college or university to help refine their skills. For someone beginning that arduous task of finding the right college, location can be one of the most important deciding factors.
The list below outlines the 10 most "artsy" states in America. The data comes from Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg ranked the U.S. states and District of Columbia based on the percentage of the population of people from the age of 25 and older with degrees in visual and performing arts. Bloomberg gathered the data from the U.S. Census 2011 ACS 3-year estimates.
Percentage of population with visual and performing arts degrees: 4.43%
Some of the colleges in "the Nutmeg State" that offer degrees in visual and performing arts include Yale University, Western Connecticut State University, the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, and Quinnipiac University.
Percentage of population with visual and performing arts degrees: 4.46%
Schools that offer a major in these fields of study include the Port Townsend and Seattle campuses of Goddard College, Cornish College of the Arts, and Washington State University, where fields of study include photography, sculpture, and painting.
Percentage of population with visual and performing arts degrees: 4.52%
For those potential art majors looking for schools in Maine, the University of Southern Maine offers undergraduate programs in art, music, and theater. The Maine College of Art offers students programs in writing, art and music, as well as sculpture, and illustration.
7. District of Columbia
Percentage of population with visual and performing arts degrees: 4.69%
College hunting in the nation's capital? Take a look at the College of Arts and Sciences at American University. Major in music, theater, or musical theater, with the option to minor in dance.
6. New Mexico
Percentage of population with visual and performing arts degrees: 4.95%
One of several options for prospective students The University Of New Mexico College Of Fine arts gives students the opportunity to prepare themselves for careers in film and digital media. Students can also take classes in the "art of print" where artists will have the opportunity to collaborate with master printers, the University website says.
5. Rhode Island
Percentage of population with visual and performing arts degrees: 5.07%
The Rhode Island School of Design gives students the opportunity to study the vast field of design including graphic design, digital media, film and animation, illustration, and more.
The performing and fine arts school at Rhode Island College offers students the chance to grow their talents as dancers, film makers, musicians, and thespians.
Also located in Rhode Island, is Brown University. An Ivy-League school with a strong visual and performing arts program.
One of the Brown University's famous alums is actress Emma Watson, best known for her role in the Harry Potter films, Watson graduated from Brown in May with a degree in English Literature, Time reported.
Percentage of population with visual and performing arts degrees: 5.23%
Oregon State University, Reed College, Portland State University, and Southern Oregon University all offer students the chance to earn a degree in visual and performing arts.
Percentage of population with visual and performing arts degrees: 5.51%
In the state of California prospective students looking for a chance to expand their talents in either the visual or performing arts can do so with the guidance offered at University of California, and California State University at Fullerton, just to name a few.
Percentage of population with visual and performing arts degrees: 5.90%
Vermont is ranked second in highest percentage of individuals with degrees in visual and performance arts.
The options for prospective students are vast, and individuals looking to pursue a career in the arts can start out by applying to the Vermont College of Fine Arts, Middlebury College, Johnson State College, the Vermont campus of Goddard College, or Bennington College.
1. New York
Percentage of population with visual and performing arts degrees: 6.46%
It is no wonder that a state known for including a city that is famous as a place of multiple movie locations, and for being the home of Broadway and several famous actors, as well as housing a large collection of art museums, would be the place with the highest percentage of individuals with visual and performing arts degrees.
Among the plethora of educational opportunities the state has to offer, prospective students can move their artistic careers forward with a degree from the School of Visual Arts, Pratt Institute, Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing arts, the New York Film Academy, Pace University, SUNY New Paltz, and many more.