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NE Minneapolis gets the blue ribbon, tops list of nation's best art districts

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Step aside Boston, move over Baltimore – Minneapolis is home to the country's best art district, according to USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice awards.

The newspaper says the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District is filled with studios, galleries and performance spaces in repurposed industrial buildings. Not only is the area home to more than 400 independent artists, but also numerous annual events such as Art-A-Whirl, Art Attack and a Fine Arts Show.

"A nod from USA Today is actually a nod toward a culmination of careful planning and collaboration between artists and businesses – that's what makes [the District] so special, so vibrant," ArtForce, a Northeast Minneapolis Arts District resident, said, according to the Arts District Facebook page.

USA Today judges named 20 finalists, and then had readers vote on the best, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal says. Minneapolis beat out several notable art communities around the country – here are the top 10:

  1. Northeast Minneapolis Arts District
  2. SoWa in Boston
  3. Station North in Baltimore
  4. Heidelberg Project in Detroit
  5. Dallas Arts District
  6. Santa Fe Railyard Arts District
  7. Parkway Museums District in Philadelphia
  8. Houston Museum District & Project Row Houses
  9. Museum Row on Miracle Mile in Los Angeles
  10. Culver City Arts District in Los Angeles

Minnesota Monthly says artists started moving to the Northeast neighborhood in the 1980s, noting the Arts District is bordered by the Mississippi River on the West, 26th Avenue on the North, Central Avenue to the East and Broadway on the South.

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