Asheville: One of Nation’s Top Arts Destinations

April 27, 2009

Baltimore, Md. (April 17, 2009) — Exciting, reliable, budget-friendly locales captured readers’ hearts and votes as cities nationwide vied for top ranking in AmericanStyle magazine’s 12th annual Top 25 Arts Destinations poll.

For the second year, Asheville, N.C., with a storied crafts legacy dating to the turn of the century, held the No. 2 spot among small cities. Santa Fe, N.M., received top honors in the category, while Sedona, Ariz., placed third.

Once again, the winners’ list features a mix of traditional destinations and emerging arts scenes where galleries contribute to community revitalization.

“Remember the vital roles played by artists during the last recession,” said Wendy Rosen, publisher of AmericanStyle. “They moved in to dying Main Streets, shuttered factories and warehouse districts, and converted them into galleries and art scenes. Their murals, outdoor sculpture and other public art enchanted tourists and helped spark new investment. Artists led the way then, and they are leading the way now: Just look at what young artists have done to bring tourism to Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, and how artists have made Asheville, N.C., a must-visit destination off the beaten path.”

“Tough economic times also make consumers conscious of where their products come from,” Ms. Rosen added. “Art lovers know they can make a positive impact by buying from local galleries and local artists, so their dollars recycle in the community and support homegrown talent. We all know that art and handcraft galleries are among the few remaining places where you can find authentic, made-in-America gifts and art products.”

With so large a selection of arts cities to choose from, readers will be itching to hit the road. Luxury travelers will not be able to resist destinations boasting premier museums, galleries and festivals, while “staycationers” will be pleased to find great art cities within driving distance.

AmericanStyle Top Arts Destinations in 2009

Big Cities (Populations of 500,000 or greater)
1. New York, N.Y.
2. Chicago, Ill.
3. Washington, D.C.
4. San Francisco, Calif.
5. Albuquerque, N.M.
6. Boston, Mass.
7. Seattle, Wash.
8. Atlanta, Ga.
9. Philadelphia, Pa.
10. Los Angeles, Calif.

Mid-Size Cities (Populations of 100,000 to 499,999)
1. Buffalo, N.Y.
2. Chattanooga, Tenn.
3. Pittsburgh, Pa.
4. Scottsdale, Ariz.
5. New Orleans, La.
6. Charleston, S.C.
7. Savannah, Ga.
8. Cleveland, Ohio
9. Ann Arbor, Mich.
10. Minneapolis, Minn.

Small Cities (Populations of less than 100,000)
1. Santa Fe, N.M.
2. Asheville, N.C.

3. Sedona, Ariz.
4. Taos, N.M.
5. Saugatuck, Mich.
6. Key West, Fla.
7. Berkeley Springs, W.V.
8. Boulder, Colo.
9. Carmel, Calif.
10. Corning, N.Y.

Complete lists of all 25 winning cities in each category, plus tips for affordable travel and information about exciting arts destinations in the United States are featured on and in the June issue of AmericanStyle, now on newsstands and at major booksellers across the country.

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AmericanStyle magazine is a national lifestyle magazine for art enthusiasts, collectors and travelers. Launched in 1994 by The Rosen Group, the bi-monthly publication features articles on contemporary artists, galleries, arts travel and art events. The annual Top 25 Arts Destinations readers’ poll has earned the magazine national recognition as the premier arts travel resource.