In Your Words: D.C. Too Pricey to Be Culturally Relevant?

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Is D.C. becoming culturally irrelevant because artists can’t afford to live here?

Slate’s Matthew Yglesias wrote last week that D.C. is “unhip” because it’s too expensive to live here; Washington City Paper‘s Ryan Little disagreed, writing that the District has abundant opportunities for artists.

Now, Atlantic Cities’ Richard Florida weighs in on the debate by providing the numbers on wages and housing for D.C.-metro artists. Arts, entertainment and design workers in our region have an average of $2,465 left over each month after paying for housing, which is far less than similar workers in New York and Los Angeles. Florida writes:

When all is said and done, D.C. seems like a not-so-great place for visual artists, a slightly better than average place for musicians and a pretty good place for writers and editors. New York and L.A. continue to dominate these fields, particularly arts, design and music, and actually provide a comparatively good living even with their high costs of housing.

A number of you responded on Facebook and Twitter to our questions: Is D.C. “unhip?” Is it because the city is too expensive for artists?

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