What is an ArtPlace? It’s a place that engages residents and draws visitors. It’s a place that has a backbone of creative culture. It’s a place with small, local businesses and shops. It’s a place where you can walk to run your errands or find a local pub near the new theater or performance space. America’s Top ArtPlaces are neighborhoods where the arts are central to creating the kinds of places where people want to be.

A report released by ArtPlace, an initiative of national and regional foundations, federal agencies and major banks to accelerate creative placemaking, identifies the Top ArtPlaces in 33 of the nation’s largest U.S. metropolitan areas with neighborhoods that have been exceptionally successful at combining art, artists and venues for creativity and expression with independent businesses, retail shops and restaurants, and a walkable lifestyle to make vibrant neighborhoods.

UPDATE 03/06: At the time of publication data points were unavailable for the biggest cities in Ohio; Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus. We now have that data and have identified the Top ArtPlace in each of the cities. Please find Ohio’s three largest cities now represented in the complete list below.

“Arts and culture are underused assets for increasing the vibrancy of cities and local economies,” said Carol Coletta of ArtPlace. “This list reveals the real potential in cities everywhere to tap into that resource and create exciting, successful places.  These neighborhoods demonstrate that art and artists help create the kind of places where people want to be.”

Members of the press can download images from ArtPlace’s tour of five of America’s Top Twelve ArtPlaces from this image bank.

The process of identifying the America’s Top ArtPlaces involved an initial search of 33,000 zip codes to find areas that scored highest on a set of six indicators indicators identified by Impresa Inc., a Portland-based consulting firm specializing in the study of metropolitan economies.  Four of the indicators measure ingredients of vibrancy: the number of retail and service businesses; the percentage of independent businesses; the neighborhood’s Walk Score; and the percentage of workers in creative occupations living in the neighborhood. Two arts-related indicators were also used: the number of arts-related non-profits and the number of arts-related businesses. Finally, neighborhood scores were normalized for family income so that neighborhoods with the highest concentration of income did not skew the results.

The greatest concentration of indicators in the highest performing zip codes was identified, around which a half-mile radius was drawn. This allows a unique, block-by-block view of activity that sometimes spans traditional neighborhood boundaries.

To see a map of each radius, click on the name of the city/neighborhood.


(In alphabetical order by city, not ranked)

Alexandria, VA / Downtown

Anchorage, AK / Downtown

Atlanta, GA / Buckhead

Austin, TX / South Lamar

Baltimore, MD / Downtown

Boston, MA / Back Bay

The Bronx, NY / Fordham

Brooklyn, NY / The intersection of Downtown, Fort Greene, Gowanus, Park Slope and Prospect Heights

Cambridge, MA / North Cambridge

Charlotte, NC / Fourth Ward, with parts of First Ward and Uptown

Chicago, IL / Gold Coast and a section of the Near North Side

Cincinnati / Downtown/Over-the-Rhine

Cleveland / Downtown

Columbus / West of Downtown in Fifth by Northwest

Dallas, TX / The Dallas Arts District, with parts of Deep Ellum and Exposition Park

Denver, CO  /Capitol Hill

Detroit, MI / Midtown

Fort Worth, TX  / Arlington Heights

Fort Lauderdale, FL / Downtown

Houston, TX / Neartown/Montrose

Indianapolis, IN / Downtown

Jamaica, NY / Laurelton

Los Angeles, CA / Central Hollywood

Memphis, TN / Downtown

Miami Beach, FL / South Beach

Milwaukee, WI  / The Third Ward

Minneapolis, MN / Equal parts of Downtown West and Loring Park

Nashville, TN / Hillsboro Heights, with a part of Edgehill

Norfolk, VA / Downtown

New York, NY / Manhattan Valley

Oakland, CA / Downtown, including Chinatown, Old Oakland and Jack London Square

Philadelphia, PA / Old City

Portland, OR / The Pearl District and part of Downtown

Providence, RI / Downtown and Federal Hill

Raleigh, NC / Wade

Rochester, NY  / Parts of Pearl-Meigs-Monroe and East Ave

Sacramento, CA  / Midtown and East Sacramento

St. Louis, MO  / Central West End

St. Paul, MN / Lowertown

St. Petersburg, FL  / Downtown St. Pete

Salt Lake City, UT / Capitol Hill

San Francisco, CA / The Mission District

San Jose, CA  / Downtown

Seattle, WA / The Pike-Pine Corridor

Tampa, FL  / Downtown and the River Arts District

Williamsburg, VA / William and Mary College and Historic Williamsburg

Washington, DC / Adams Morgan and the U Street Corridor


Press Tours

Don’t miss ArtPlace representatives, local arts organizations, retailers and neighborhood stakeholders, and elected officials at press conferences and tours in:
1/7: Washington, DC (COMPLETED)
1/9: Philadelphia, PA (COMPLETED)
1/14: Milwaukee, WI, (COMPLETED)
1/24: Oakland, CA, (COMPLETED)
1/25: Seattle, WA, (COMPLETED)


Are you a local arts leader or representative of a local Business Improvement District, and would like to celebrate your community’s recognition as a Top ArtPlace? ArtPlace would be happy to give you everything you need to hold your own press event. Contact George Abbott at for all the details.


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