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15 Best U.S Cities for Artists

Seattle, Washington

Art in all its forms is celebrated in Seattle. It’s home to Pioneer Square, one of the country’s leading gallery districts. The Emerald City features affordable lofts like Addison on Fourth, and creative souls find community at co-ops like Soil.

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Hudson, New York

New York City became expensive in the '80s, so artists started to settle along the idyllic Hudson River Valley, about two hours north. Today’s arts scene boasts small galleries, concert halls, and cinemas. If you plan a trip to Hudson, check out Warren Street and the Hudson Opera House.

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Austin, Texas

Austin has long been a thriving arts city. Take your pick of live music venues, including Austin City Limits and the South by Southwest festival. You’ll also find scores of galleries to peruse and not-to-miss events and spaces at Art Alliance Austin.

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New Orleans, Louisiana

The birthplace of jazz and a mecca for writers, sculptors, painters, and performers, the Crescent City is both muse and art. Visit New Orleans Museum of Art, Le Petit Theatre and Frenchmen Art Market for just a taste of the town’s many treasures.

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Big Sur, California

Art lovers enjoy Monterey County’s vibrant Big Sur community. Here you'll find galleries and museums, such as National Steinbeck Center and Monterey Museum of Art. They aren't short on performance venues, either. Check out PacRep Theatre and Sunset Center

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Marfa, Texas

Marfa’s desert landscape has attracted artists since the early 1970s. It's home to "Building 98 Houses," the famous World War II POW murals. There are also artist in residence programs available at the Chinati foundation, the Lannan foundation, and Marfa Contemporary.

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Taos, New Mexico

America’s Southwest beauty has long been captured by multiple mediums. Taos’ robust arts scene features photography, painting, ceramics, metals, and more at its many galleries. JandreauArt, Lenny Foster Living Light Gallery, and Taos Tin Works are just a few. 

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Athens, Georgia

Athens is always abuzz with creativity. Multiple galleries and boutiques showcase work by hometown artists and designers. Georgia Museum of Art and Museum of Natural History are also located here. Often called Live Music Central, Athens’ music scene is renown, with small venues like The Classic Center, a frequent host of Broadway plays.

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New Bedford, Massachusetts

About an hour from Boston, New Bedford is one of the most art-friendly cities in the United States. Local government greatly supports the creative culture, so New Bedford has gained several galleries and open studios over the years. With an active ballet, symphony, and several theatre groups, it's a must-see art town! 

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Providence, Rhode Island

For three decades, AS220 has given artists a place to create and live. With galleries, stages. and a farm-to-table restaurant, this unique downtown art project has evolved beyond belief. Providence is also home to the Rhode Island School of Design Museum that houses treasures from Japan and Egypt, as well as works from Pollock and Van Gogh.

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Tucson, Arizona

Tucson’s art is everywhere you look! You won't be hard pressed to find large murals on walls downtown, museums like Etherton Gallery, and the Center for Creative Photography. This southern Arizona city boasts a rich film history, too. Indie movies can be seen on screens, like those in The Loft Cinema.

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Santa Fe, New Mexico

Summer in Santa Fe is abundant with art fairs and markets. You can also stroll through sculpture gardens and walk in Georgia O’Keeffe’s footsteps. Music and dance lovers will enjoy ballet, flamenco, live theatre, and more!

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Hartford, Connecticut

If you’re interested in an art-centric vacation, Connecticut’s capital city has plenty to offer. Hartford’s impressive arts scene includes Wadsworth Atheneum Museum, The Bushnell, and Hartford Stage.

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Santa Cruz, California

The Tannery Arts Center is Santa Cruz’s very eloquent answer to a working-living community of artists. For more art, check out the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History and a walking SculpTOUR through the city.

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Louisville, Kentucky

East Market Street in Louisville’s NuLu neighborhood features many eclectic galleries. The city is also home to Flame Run Gallery, a glass museum, and Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. Performance art is big here, too. Check out the Louisville Ballet and Orchestra.

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