Big Think / by Ellie Ohiso

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Big Think

Hickster mention

Hipster to Hickster: The Future of Art Is Rural

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Artists are being priced out of New York City and other large urban centers. Some are moving to Detroit where houses go for a dollar; others are finding refuge in the suburbs. 

The problems surrounding gentrification are larger than the fate of artists, such as families and economically disadvantaged populations being pushed out of Brooklyn, for example.

But urban renewal was led in large part by artists who moved into abandoned factories to set up studios, theatres, galleries, and apartments. Few could have predicted that loft living would become all the rage when cities were vacated for the suburbs, but that's what happened.

Whether artists will once again set demographic trends is an open question, but that artists struggle to cope with current real estate prices will certainly affect how the American culture, as created by the Artist, is portrayed.

Sharon Zukin, CUNY professor of sociology, argues that despite occasional, but somewhat specious, counter-culture movements, New York is rapidly becoming home to an exclusively wealthy population and endless rows of bland chain stores, both of which are destroying the city's "soul."