American Style Magazine has named Bradenton the 10th best small city arts destination in the country, up from No. 22 in 2010.
This is the 14th year the magazine has the released its rankings, which are based on a survey of readers.
"One of the very first questions companies ask when thinking about moving their business to a new town is, ‘What do you have to offer my employees in arts and cultural activities?,’” Mayor Wayne Poston said in a news release issued by the city. “In Bradenton, we understand just how important quality of life is to make a city more competitive in creating jobs. The move to the 10th spot from No.22 in top cities for art shows Bradenton is continuing to create a better quality of life for our current and future residents.”
The top small city was Asheville, N.C., and other Florida cities in the Top 25 were Sarasota (5) -- which was No. 5 also in 2010 -- Key West (7) and Naples (18). Rounding out the Top 10 were Santa Fe, N.M. (2), Gloucester, Mass. (3), Saugatuck, Mich. (4), Sedona, Ariz. (6), Frederick, Md. (8) and Taos, N.M. (9).
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Poston credited the Realize Bradenton organization for how it has worked to increase Bradenton's profile as an arts destination.
"The citizen-driven cultural master plan established the collaborative framework for programs, projects and promotions to make Bradenton one of the best riverfront communities in the United States,” Johnette Isham, Realize Bradenton’s executive director, in the release. “The increased ranking with other initiatives such as the Riverwalk, Old Main Street enhancements, public art, and greater visibility of our cultural non-profits are powerful economic development tools to help us attract and retain residents, retirees, artists, designers, businesses, and investors to our community.”
The top medium-size city was St. Petersburg, and Tampa was No. 7 in the category.
The top three big cities for the arts were New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. No Florida cities were included in the Top 25 among the biggest cities.