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Salida ranks well as art town, but is it really affordable?

Brief by Central Staff

Local Art Scene – November 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Creative, sure. Fresh air, indeed. But affordable?

The third edition of The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America has just come out, and Salida has moved up in the ratings. It wasn’t listed at all in the first edition, ranked 41st in the second, and now holds 30th place.

Another town in our area, the old silver camp of Creede near the headwaters of the Rio Grande, made its first appearance, coming in 82nd.

Other Colorado art towns ranked by author John Villani included Vail, 61st; Durango, 50th; Telluride, 34th; Aspen, 16th; and Loveland, 8th.

For the first time, Santa Fé did not rank first; it slid to second place this year.

So far, so good, but the book’s subtitle is Where to Discover Creative Communities, Fresh Air, and Affordable Living. Salida is hard enough to afford, thus inspiring some of our creative sorts to look toward Saguache; while Vail, Durango, Telluride, and Aspen currently only provoke memories of “Affordable Living.” Unless your Family Values include a trust fund, most art towns aren’t very affordable.

Villani, however, did quote a Telluride artist who mentioned that the place was quite expensive and guessed that a lot of its artists might be moving to more affordable places like Salida.