Calling All Creatives! Here’s 5 Midwest Artist’s Communities to Watch in 2018

by Ben SanfordJune 20, 2018

Midwestern Cities Have the Affordable and Creative Environments That Artists Desire

Our country’s Midwestern states aren’t typically the first to come to mind when most people think of artistic communities. For most, those cities include New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and the like. But, the arts are alive in the Midwest and more and more artists are moving to the middle of the country to take advantage of the affordable housing markets and growing artistic influences.

Whether you’re an artist or you simply want to move to a community where art surrounds you, then here are five Midwest artist’s communities you’re going to want to watch in 2018.

cities for creatives

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus is a city of universities. In fact, there are more than a dozen of them in the area, including the Columbus College of Art and Design. Where there are universities, there also tend to exist a thriving arts scene and Columbus is no different. Of course, universities are also providers of jobs and other opportunities for artists, which makes for a compelling reason for an artist to want to relocate to Columbus.

As if that’s not enough, Columbus also has the Columbus Museum of Art, the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the Columbus Arts Festival, and Columbus Makes Art. Homes in Columbus vary greatly in price and selection, from this affordable investment opportunity to this 5,574 square foot estate, so there’s an artistic abode for every budget.

cities for creatives

Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha is home to 1.92 museums for every 100,000 residents. This puts the city in the 90th-percentile of those showing in museums per capita! Omaha is also surprisingly rich in art galleries, art schools, and art dealers.

Omaha is also home to the Nebraska Arts Council, which provides support, grants, and other services for the state’s artists, musicians, actors, poets, dancers, and others, as well as an abundance of public art pieces. Omaha, Nebraska also enjoys a housing market that is very accommodating to artists. This charming three-bedroom ranch is just one example of what you can find in Omaha.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Although nearby Chicago, Illinois tends to get all the attention, Grand Rapids, Michigan has quietly become one of the hottest places to live in the upper Midwest. The city’s love for the arts is certainly one of the reasons for that.

Gone are the days of Grand Rapids being a dull community fueled by a dying furniture-making industry. Today’s Grand Rapids is youthful, vibrant, and filled with creatively minded people. Every year, the art spectacle, ArtPrize, takes the city by storm and attracts artists and art lovers from all over the country.

Museums, art galleries, theaters, craft breweries, and eclectic restaurants now serve as the city’s new backbone. And, unlike Chicago, Grand Rapids continues to enjoy an affordable housing market where you can still get a three-bedroom home for under $140k.

Cedar Falls, Iowa

Cedar Falls is where the iconic painting American Gothic was created by Grant Wood in 1930. It’s also home to the Douglas and Charlotte Grant House, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Cedar falls has no fewer than six performance theaters, and it’s also home to the African American Museum of Iowa, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, and Ushers Ferry Historic Village, a particular favorite among artists.

Without Cedar Falls, so much of what makes American art wouldn’t exist. You can also find incredible homes for sale like this one in Cedar Falls!

cities for creatives

Quincy, Illinois

Quincy, Illinois loves the arts and the creators who make it. In 1947, Quincy created the country’s very first community arts council, the Quincy Society of Fine Arts. Later, the city would build the Quincy Art Center, which features a museum, an exhibition space, art education programs, and more. Quincy also hosts the Blues in the District concert series and QFest, a festival that celebrates the city’s passion for the arts.

With a population of just over 40,000, it is a community that retains its small-town ambiance. And, what else can be said about the housing costs in Quincy other than it is cheap! This creative home is priced below $80k, if you can believe it.

Finding an Artistic Community Without Breaking the Bank

If you’re a creative individual looking to move somewhere artistically inclined, but you don’t want to pay big city prices, there are options available. The above five cities offer outstanding housing opportunities coupled with rich and exciting arts scenes, making them some of the top cities to watch for artists and other creatives in 2018.

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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.