Image via Kid Monkey for the Bushwick Collective
According to a new analysis by the Center for an Urban Future (CUF), the number of artists in New York City has grown in almost every discipline, borough and neighborhood between 2000 and 2015. Citywide, the number of artists has increased by an all-time high of 17.4 percent, to 56,268 as of 2015. Since 2000, the Bronx saw the number of visual and performing artists nearly double, to 2,920 from 1,524, while Manhattan saw a decline of 10 percent, from 28,454 artists to 25,650. On the other hand, Brooklyn grew 72 percent to 17,605, Queens grew at 35 percent to 8,726 and Staten Island experienced an 8 percent growth to total 1,367 in 2015.
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Like most things in New York, creative communities come and ago as new development and rising rents force artists to move on to the next best, or cheaper neighborhood. While 6sqft found ‘hoods like the Upper East Side, Harlem and Long Island City to be the best places for artists a few years back, we’ve updated our top-10 list to reflect the changing times. Ahead you’ll find some areas you may expect–Sunset Park and Bushwick, for example, along with more up-and-coming artsy enclaves like Newark, Washington Heights, and the South Bronx.
The full list right this way
We all know the typical gentrification pattern–artists move in to a neighborhood and make it hip; they’re followed by trendy coffee shops and cool vintage stores; rents rise; the artists move on to the next frontier. But what if the influx of artists to a neighborhood slowed gentrification? It sounds like an impossible premise, but it just might be taking shape in East Harlem.
Fast Co. EXIST takes a look at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109, the project which has transformed an abandoned public school building in East Harlem into 89 units of affordable live/work housing for artists and their families and 10,000 square feet of complementary space for arts organizations. A whopping 53,000 creatives applied to live in the building, where studios will rent for as low as $494/month and two-bedroom units will go for $1,022/month. But isn’t Artspace’s goal to break the gentrification cycle—”to preserve the cultural fabric of a small corner of Manhattan that’s starting to change quickly” by preserving its affordable housing?
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Update: Check out our 2017 edition for the latest!
It’s become all too common in New York City — artists move into a neighborhood, make it trendy and culturally vibrant, and then are forced out by rising rents. It happened in Greenwich Village, Soho, the East Village, DUMBO, and Williamsburg. Do not be disheartened, though, there are still plenty of artist enclaves with thriving creative communities. Ahead are our ten current frontrunners — some may surprise you!
Where the artists are flocking