April 05, 2005
Studies are finding that artists are an increasingly important part of a town's economic infrastructure, and people are increasingly moving to these small communities for their creative energy.
What is the #1 art town? Santa Fe, NM but there are a number of other appealing towns in John Villani's book, The 100 Best Art Towns in America. New England has three towns on the list of best small art towns, with populations under 30,000:
Provincetown, MA (ranked 3rd overall, ahead of Toas, Northampton, & Aspen)
5 college town area in central Massachusetts
Villani says New London, NH and North Adams, MA look like rising stars in New England. Another trend to watch are members of the creative class who are living in two art towns, six months a year. An audio clip of WBUR's interview today is online at Here-Now.org, and watch Villani's web site, ArtTowns.com, now under construction following the April release of the 4th edition of his book.
Wonder why Cambridge, MA did not make the short list? Our support for the visual and performing arts are arguably world class, but it's hard to think of our fair city as a small town, even if our population is under 100,000.
What's your nomination for the best art towns -- or more specifically, BEST NEIGHBORHOODS -- in Greater Boston or New England? If you are passionate enough about that location, would you be willing to lead of tour of potential home buyers to that town, neighborhood, or building; or alternatively, act as an informal "virtual" guide?
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