Top twelve places for art in America

The first ever list of the top twelve places for art in America has been revealed in a fascinating new study from ArtPlace, a non-profit cultural organisation. What we certainly know is that in itself, a work of art possesses the kind of beauty, triumph, fantasy and power beyond the confines of reality.
It is pure escapism, or as Vincent Van Gogh once noted, it is the physical manifestation of the Promised Land, the end of history progress is directing us towards: “I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”
Beyond the metaphysical, the personal and spiritual, art is also “a powerful catalyst for change within communities, invigorating neighbourhoods, supporting local businesses, and creating vibrant places where people want to be,” the authors of the report state.
Art, the establishment in which it is held, be it permanently or temporarily, has the intrinsic ability to shake up the foundations of the geographical locale in fundamental ways, a sort of clandestine revolution bringing about long-lasting and often unnoticed change.
The top places for art in the US include Brooklyn, New York; Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles, California; Miami Beach, Florida; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; New York City, New York; Oakland, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington; San Francisco, California; Portland, Oregon; and Washington DC.
“The impact the arts have had on the vibrancy and economy of these communities is unmistakable,” comments ArtPlace director Carol Coletta. “This study shows how the arts can provide a foundation for a diversity of neighbourhoods to thrive.”
The regions were chosen based on six categories that were put forward by Impresa Inc, a consulting firm that specialises in delivering research on metropolitan economies. The two absolute key areas under appraisal concerned numbers – how many arts-related non-profit organisations and businesses were there?
Let’s examine Dallas, whose buoyant arts district was one of the reasons it was found to be at the forefront of cultural investment. Moreover, what has been achieved with this locale was nothing short of amazing.
The question ArtPlace asked was: “Can you manufacture an arts neighbourhood from scratch?” The answer, given the success of the hype, energy and engagement that it encourages, is a resounding yes.
“Today it is a neighbourhood in transition, buzzing with new arts activity,” the report states. “It is the largest arts district in the nation … [and] draws more than 1.5 million ticketed visitors a year and has created more than $128 million in economic impact.”
This shows that art is much more than aesthetics. It is a constant movement, a sociological force that delivers far more than it intends to. It might not get the appreciation it so richly deserves, but it doesn’t seek this kind of admiration. It is happy to be the silent wind that makes the world a better place.
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