These Are The 10 Best Cities For Artists In America
Photo Credit: RF studio

Photo Credit: RF studio

These Are The 10 Best Cities For Artists In America

hartford , Baltimore , United States , Chicago , United States , Minneapolis , United States , Philadelphia , United States , Pittsburgh , United States , Seattle , United States , Washington D.C. , United States
Nasha Smith
Nasha Smith May 20, 2021

By now you’ve probably heard the well-worn trope of the starving artist who lives frugally and eschews material things for the sake of their artwork. It’s an image that even the Renaissance’s most famous artist Michaelangelo embraced. But this doesn’t need to be the status quo. Artists should be able to hone their craft while enjoying a thriving cultural scene and living comfortably. But, what are the best cities for artists?

Apartment search engine and online marketplace released a new report highlighting the best cities for artists in America. Among the factors considered was the existence of a vibrant art community including access to museums, theaters, artistic collectives, and performing arts centers. The report also identified cities with the most affordable housing, good quality of living, and high walkability scores.

If you’re an emerging artist or one looking for a new source of inspiration, check out this list of the 10 best cities to live and work in.

1. Hartford, CT

Photo Credit: Balazs Busznyak

Connecticut’s capital is beautiful enough on its own to inspire any artist. But the city also boasts multiple museums and creative arts institutions like the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts and TheaterWorks. Diversity is also reflected through the   Artists Collective and Real Art Ways. As a bonus, studios in Hartford cost an average of $1,121 — the cheapest on the list.

2. Minneapolis, MN

Photo Credit: Tom Conway

It’s no surprise that the city that brought us the legendary Prince is home to an incredible music scene. An impressive 55 museums can also be found in Minneapolis, including the Weisman Art Museum which houses a permanent collection of 25,000 works of art. Outdoor lovers will enjoy the vibrant murals around the city.

A studio costs an average of $1,236.

3. Pittsburgh, PA

Photo Credit: Jordan Faux

Pittsburgh ranks pretty high up on the performing arts list at number five. In 2018, the city was named among the top cities in America for artistic vibrancy. Between the outdoor festivals and museums, what’s not to love? Artists will want to stop by the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Andy Warhol Museum, and The Mattress Factory.

Studios in Pittsburg cost approximately $1,194 on average.

4. Washington, D.C.

Photo Credit: Casey Horner

The United States capital ranks number one in museums and deservedly so. No trip to DC is complete without a visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of African American History and Culture, National Air and Space Museum, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to name just a few.

Throw in the myriad of festivals and a studio rent of $1,686 on average, and this pedestrian-friendly city emerges as a great option for artists.

5. Seattle, WA

Photo Credit: Josh Fields

Seattle is the home of grunge music and the birthplace of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group Nirvana. The musical pedigree is legit. But besides music, there’s something for everyone: dance companies, galleries, theaters, and so much more.

The city is easy to navigate on foot and the average studio rent comes in at $1,481.


6. Philadelphia, PA

Photo Credit: Leo Serrat

Aspiring artists interested in furthering their education will find some of the best art schools in the country in Philadelphia. In fact, the top two reside in Philly: the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. Living in the city is an education in itself.

The Rodin Museum is home to one of the largest collections of his work outside Paris. The third-largest museum in the US, The Philadelphia Art Museum, is also in the vicinity. A studio typically costs $1,745 on average.

7. Berkeley, CA

Photo Credit: Heidi Kaden

Berkeley is a diverse, tech-heavy area, but don’t sleep on its art scene. Performing arts, in particular, are top-tier in the city. Tony-winning regional playhouse Berkeley Repertory Theatre makes its home here. However, rent is pricey in these parts. A studio costs an average of $2,250.

8. Chicago, IL

Photo Credit: Bhargava Marripati

Chicago is the ideal city for the art crowd. There are options for everyone on the artistic spectrum. Visit the Art Institute of Chicago to view their extensive collections, spend a night at the theater, or take in an art installation. Some of the world’s best sketch performers honed their improv skills at the iconic Second City.  Moving around will be a breeze thanks to a great transportation system and a high walkability score.

On average, studios rent for $1,784.

9. St. Louis, MO

Photo Credit: Erick Todd

The performing arts thrive in Missouri’s second-largest city. Fourteen performing art companies and ten dance companies provide plenty of opportunities to fine-tune those skills or to simply enjoy the work of fellow artists.


10. Baltimore, MD

Photo Credit: Styves Exantus

Visual artists will find a creative home in Baltimore. There are 60 diverse museums including the Baltimore Art Museum and the Walters Art Museum. The city is affordable with a median income of $51,000 and an average studio apartment cost of $1,346.

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