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Discover the 10 Cities With the Best Arts Scenes

Discover the 10 Cities With the Best Arts Scenes
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7. Marfa, TX

Marfa, a small town perched on the high plains of the Chihuahua desert is a hidden gem for arts lovers and glamorous scenesters. In recent years, a new wave of exceptional artists has moved near or in Marfa to live and work.

With this influx of new blood in the Malfa arts scene, new gallery spaces have opened in the downtown area. The Crowley Foundation theatre hosts public events with seating for over 175 as a public service to nonprofit foundations.

Furthermore, The Lannan Foundation has established a writers-in-residency program for aspiring craftsman of language arts. A Marfa theatre group has also formed, and a multifunctional art space called Ballroom Marfa has begun to show art films, host musical performances, and exhibit other art installations. The city is also 37 miles from Prada Marfa, a pop art exhibit.

Building 98, located in Marfa, is a project of the International Woman’s Foundation, which has operated an artist-in-residency program since 2002. The International Woman’s Foundation was responsible for placing Fort D.A. Russell on the National Register of Historic Places in a successful effort to preserve and promote the historic importance of the site.

Building 98 is located at historic Fort D. A. Russell, proud home of Marfa’s German POW murals. The facility also features the George Sugarman sculpture courtyard.


6. Athens, GA

University of Georgia photo
Photo by david.torcivia

Be inspired by the creative energy of Athens. Classic and contemporary art is displayed in unconventional settings and sophisticated galleries. See the impressive Bulldog statues guarding Athens’ scenic streets or take in an exhibition of renowned artwork at the Georgia Museum of Art.

Downtown galleries and boutiques, even the restaurants, display original collections by local artists and designers.


5. Durango, CO

Durango Colorado photo
Photo by Ken Lund

For art lovers, Durango has an impressive number of galleries and alternative art venues to explore.

Whether you are interested in jewelry, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, pottery, mixed-media, or Native-American artifacts, you’ll find your favorites in Durango.

About a dozen art emporiums participate in the 1st Thursday Art Walk, a time when galleries exhibit their best work and regularly showcase new work by some of the local artists.

It is a popular high energy social event for locals and visitors, with many galleries providing appetizers and beverages to accompany the art.

Durango’s restaurants, coffee shops, tea rooms, banks, and hotels also exhibit local artists’ work.


4. Ypsilanti, MI

Ypsilanti Michigan photo
Photo by Gray Lensman QX!

Ypsilanti is the proud home of the brilliant Riverside Arts Center. The Center hosts theatre performances, gallery shows, a permanent art gallery, an active dance studio, and much more.

Classes in Russian ballet are offered, as well as volunteer opportunities, gallery space and workshops. This world class venue provides a hub for artists and audiences to come together and celebrate the arts.

Ypsilanti is also home to the new and growing artist’s haven, SPUR Studios. The studios are home to writers, painters, musicians, designers, musicians and more. The 30 deluxe studio spaces have been booked solid since the art incubator opened in early 2010 and thrive with energy.

This creativity drives handmade and indie art festivals like the Shadow Art Fair and DIYpsi, where regional artists join our locals to put on extraordinary, one of kind, art shows.

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Skye MacLeod Travel expert, writer for America Unraveled.

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