Lately, recreational opportunities (like kayaking or biking) have received a lot of press in Kent, which is great, but I didn’t want anyone to think that’s all we’re about. I noticed that the Art in the Park banners are up downtown promoting the largest of our art shows for the weekend after Labor Day, so that got me thinking some more about cultural arts and its importance to the quality of life and our local economy. The arts are another piece of the Kent mosiac that makes Kent unique. The arts and recreational opportunities won’t solve our economic challenges by themselves but together they help create the kind of place people want to live and work.
I read a good article in American Style magazine that rated the best cities for art, and it came as no surprise that the cities at the top also have some of the best economies. We’ve got some wonderful artists in Kent, I’d say we just haven’t done a great job at creating more venues to enjoy and experience the art. I’ve been banging around the idea of trying to create a cultural arts commission that would help advise, advocate and promote cultural arts opportunites. It seems to me that we’ve got the arts, we just need more opportunities to engage it, and I’ve seen other places do great things through the focus that an arts commission can bring.
|Issue Date: June 2007,
Top 25 Arts Destinations: From Sea to Shining Sea
|F rom the Lincoln Tunnel to the Golden Gate Bridge, from the sunny shores of the Florida Keys to the windy streets of Chicago, 2007’s top arts destinations can be found in nearly every corner of the United States.
AmericanStyle readers cast a record number of votes in this year’s readers’ poll for their favorite U.S. arts destinations, selecting 75 cities and towns divided into three categories.
In the Big Cities category, perennial favorite New York City once again tops the list. The remainder of the Top 25 contains last year’s favorites, most of them in new positions. The biggest climber was Phoenix, Ariz., jumping from No. 15 in 2006 to No. 8. This year, Charlotte, N.C., made the list, replacing San Jose, Calif.
The Northern Rust Belt staked its claim on the top of the Mid- Sized Cities category, with a large number of Pittsburgh citizens casting ballots for their hometown. The more temperate Southwest proved a reader favorite with Albuquerque, N.M. (No. 2), Scottsdale, Ariz. (No. 4), and Tucson, Ariz. (No. 9).
But the Southwest’s appreciation for art truly stood out on the Small Cities and Towns category, topped by Santa Fe, N.M., and Sedona, Ariz., followed by Taos, N.M. (No. 4), and Tubac, Ariz. (No. 19). New towns on this year’s list included the much chillier Brattleboro, Vt. (No. 24), and Portsmouth, N.H. (No. 25).
For lists of all 25 winners in each category, see below. Continue reading for profiles of the top three cities in each category.
New York City
Las Vegas, Nev.
Santa Fe, N.M.
Key West, Fla.