Cincinnati’s collection of street art voted best in nation, per USA TODAY’s 10Best list

Cincinnati is a city that prides itself on its religious devotion to its pro sports teams, a bottomless appetite for Skyline Chili and, while unbeknownst to many visitors, its affinity for street art.

If you ever find yourself strolling the streets of downtown Cincinnati, Over-the-Rhine or any other neighborhood, you’re sure to come across the city’s eclectic collection of murals and other forms of street art.

Each art piece adds a splash of Cincinnati’s personality to many of the city’s building facades, which could otherwise be bare and dull.

Cincinnati’s vibrant collection hasn’t gone unnoticed either, as the city finally clinched the No. 1 spot this year in USA TODAY’s 10 Best Cities for Street Art.

After a panel of experts, including USA TODAY editors, editors and influential contributors, made their nominee selections across six art-filled categories, readers were then allowed to vote once per day for their favorites over four weeks.

In each of the last three years, Cincinnati had made an appearance in the top 10 for the street art category, finishing as high as No. 2 in 2021. Voters decided Cincinnati was the best of the best this time around.

The national recognition is thanks in large part to ArtWorks, a Greater Cincinnati-based nonprofit that creates community-based public art providing career opportunities for artists of all ages.

In collaboration with community organizations and residents, businesses, governments and foundations, ArtWorks is responsible for more than 300 outdoor murals shaping Cincinnati’s cityscape, according to its website.

“Being the No. 1 city for street art is a testament to ArtWorks’ longstanding commitment to prioritizing community-based partnerships, listening to community voices, hiring local artists, celebrating heritage and elevating civic pride. Our process is just as important as these gorgeous works of art, which have forever changed our city,” Colleen Houston, ArtWorks CEO and artistic director, said in a statement.

The nonprofit said that dozens of art projects will be underway this spring and summer.

Here is the full list of USA TODAY’s 10 Best Cities for Street Art:

  1. Cincinnati, Ohio
  2. Richmond, Virginia
  3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  4. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  5. Detroit, Michigan
  6. Portland, Oregon
  7. Miami, Florida
  8. Nashville, Tennessee
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. New York City, New York

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