Our neighbors to the south have recently been arguing about whether DC is a good place for artists (Slate: “DC: The Anti-Berlin”; Washington’s City Paper: “Why Slate is Wrong About DC”). According to Slate’s Matthew Yglesias, “If you’re a semi-employed artist or guitar player it’s much more expensive than Philadelphia or Baltimore and still smaller and less interesting than New York City.” Which made us wonder: is Baltimore a better place for artists to live?
Well, first of all, we’re cooler. (Duh.) But if you want to get scientific about it, there are plenty of official metrics that’ll support our superiority. For example, Baltimore’s artists have a higher average income than their DC counterparts ($46,012 versus $41,118); the same is true for our musicians ($40,636 versus DC’s $34,109). However, Baltimore’s writers and editors earn less than their counterparts in the District (sigh).
Of course, $40k in Baltimore will go farther than the same amount in DC. City data guru Richard Florida crunched some numbers to find out how much money arts/entertainment/design workers have left over each month after paying for housing, and — no surprise — Baltimore beats out DC and Philadelphia.