“It feels like almost EVERY city has become either an overpriced “artisan” boutique or warzone. A by-product of the destruction of the middle class in this country. Here’s my personal list, based on the national median income of $50K (middle class) with $25K as the earnings that most successful artists can expect to earn from a combined day job and art sales.
Unaffordable to even middle class wages:
NY, SF, DC
Affordable with a middle class income, art part-time:
LA, Seattle, Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Portland, Austin, San Diego, Santa Fe
Affordable to work part-time in limited areas/situations, or outer suburbs:
Chicago, New Orleans, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Albuquerque, Raleigh-Durham, Dallas
Affordable to art full-time, with high crime rates:
St. Louis, Memphis, Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, Wilmington, Houston, Birmingham, Orlando, Buffalo, Albany, Hartford, Cincinnati, Columbus, Nashville
Affordable to art full-time with low crime rates:
Louisville, Iowa City, St. Paul, MN, past the exurbs of cities is the last 2 categories.
Mostly every place is unaffordable or too dangerous. Commerce seems to be moving past their need for artists to displace the working classes, especially on the coasts.”
– from a 2013 comment on a conversation following Patti Smith’s urging of young artists to “find a new city.”
My gut instinct is more really teeny small places. Where do you think is a great place to live affordably as an artist? In what country? Do you live in one of these cities listed above? What do you think? Oakland is in the affordable art part-time list for now and for some it may be in the full-time wither without high-crime depending upon which section you live in.