Artists are Leaving Lower Manhattan, here is Where they are Going

Rob Grams Rob Grams

Artists are Leaving Lower Manhattan, here is Where they are Going

New York City is a mecca for artists. From ground breaking street art to our world class galleries, the “IT” neighborhood for artists is constantly changing. Surprises may be in store for those of you that THINK you know where all the artists in NYC live. 

Artists and art lovers from all over the world flock to New York. Understandably so, our city has some of the worlds finest galleries and opportunities for aspiring artists. As artists come, they naturally form a community, Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side were the go to address if you were an artist, but slowly that is starting to change.

There seems to be a small migration happening away from former art hotspots, now we are seeing the art community move to neighborhoods like Bushwick and Williamsburg in Brooklyn, or Throgs Neck in the Bronx.

Center for an Urban Future is a think-tank that works on independent policy solutions for some of the New Yorks most critical issues. Recently they released a report on where artists in the city live, and the impact they have on the community. The Center for an Urban Future used data from the 2015 American Community Survey to discover 56,268 artists were living in New York in 2015. That is a 17% increase from the last survey, back in 2000.

So it seems that we’re more popular than ever with artists, in 2015 this is how they are distributed:

As you can see, downtown neighborhoods like Greenwich Village, Chelsea, and the Lower East Side are still popular with artists, but if you look at the change in the first map, artists are leaving, crossing the river into Bushwick, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint.

Where as this may initially feel like good news for residents of Kings County, large artist communities can often be the first sign of oncoming gentrification that eventually squeezes poor artist communities out of their beloved neighborhoods.