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Top Arts Destinations in the Southeast - 2008

Twenty-One Southern Cities Selected in Poll

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Asheville, North Carolina - A Top Arts Destination in the Southeast

Asheville, North Carolina - A Top Arts Destination in the Southeast

Photo Credit: Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau
AmericanStyle magazine's annual Top 25 Arts Destinations reader poll for 2008 identifies 21 southeastern cities and towns as some of the nation's top arts destinations. The poll is divided into three groups: big cities with populations of 500,000 and greater, mid-sized cities with populations of 100,000 to 499,999 and small cities and towns with populations of fewer than 100,000.

Ranked in the number two spot for the small cities and towns category, Asheville, North Carolina was given the highest ranking of the cities selected in the Southeast. With seven cities or towns taking honors, Florida was ranked with the most winners in the southeastern states, followed by North Carolina with four, Georgia with three, South Carolina with two and Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia each having one city or town in a winning spot. In addition, Louisiana and Arkansas, both sometimes considered to be part of the southeastern region, earned one named city each.

All of the cities and towns in the Southeast and the respective rank within each category are as follows:

  • Top Big Cities in the Southeast
    17 - Charlotte, North Carolina
    22 - Nashville, Tennessee
    25 - Jacksonville, Florida
  • Top Mid-Sized Cities in the Southeast
    4 - Savannah, Georgia
    5 - New Orleans, Louisiana
    6 - Charleston, South Carolina
    8 - Atlanta, Georgia
    9 - Athens, Georgia
    11 - St. Petersburg, Florida
    12 - Alexandria, Virginia
    16 - Miami, Florida
    23 - Tampa, Florida
    24 - Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Top Small Cities and Towns in the Southeast
    2 - Asheville, North Carolina
    6 - Key West, Florida
    7 - Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
    9 - Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    11 - Sarasota, Florida
    14 - Beaufort, South Carolina
    15 - Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    21 - Naples, Florida
"In each winning city, there are artists, elected officials, arts councils and art lovers who have made a commitment to developing that city's galleries, museums and studios," said Wendy Rosen, publisher of AmericanStyle. "These cities recognize that cultivating the arts is good for their economy, but that is just the beginning...No matter its size, no matter how remote it is, a town can have an arts identity that generates good will and local pride, and contributes to economic development."

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