ArtPlace, a Chicago-based collaboration of national and regional foundations, banks, and federal agencies working to revitalize communities across the country through support for local arts projects, has announced the top twelve "ArtPlaces" for 2013.
America's Top ArtPlaces 2013 (35 pages, PDF) identifies twelve neighborhoods in eleven metropolitan areas — Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami Beach, Milwaukee, New York City (Brooklyn and northern Manhattan), Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland (Oregon), San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. — as having successfully combined art, artists, and venues for creativity and expression with independent businesses, retail shops, and restaurants and a walkable lifestyle to create vibrant neighborhoods. The twelve neighborhoods were selected based on four indicators of vibrancy — number of retail and service businesses, percentage of independent businesses, walkability, and percentage of workers in creative occupations living in the neighborhood — and two arts-related indicators — numbers of arts-related nonprofits and arts-related businesses. Neighborhood scores were normalized for family income so that areas with the highest concentration of income did not skew the results.
Beyond the "Top Twelve," thirty-two other neighborhoods across the country qualified as "robust" ArtPlaces. They include neighborhoods in Alexandria, Virginia; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Denver, Colorado; Memphis, Tennessee; Raleigh, North Carolina; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Salt Lake City, Utah. The development of the indicators as well as data analysis and processing were conducted by Impresa, a Portland-based consulting firm. ArtPlace is currently developing indicators specific to smaller metro areas with the goal of releasing America's Top Small Town ArtPlaces later this year.
"The impact the arts have had on the social and economic vibrancy and economy of these communities is unmistakable," said ArtPlace president Carol Coletta. "This study shows how the arts can provide a foundation for a diversity of neighborhoods to thrive."