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Knoxville named No. 2 ‘Best Arts District’ in USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice 2024 poll

March 1, 2024

Knoxville did it again! The city’s art district has been voted No. 2 “Best Arts District” nationwide in USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice 2024 poll after ranking No. 4 in 2023.

Local vendors sell their handmade goods at the Retropolitan Craft Fair inside the Mill & Mine. Holly Rainey

Twenty cities were nominated by expert panelists. Then, community members voted for the top 10 winners. This year, Knoxville’s arts district ranked among some of America’s largest cities including Chicago and Houston.

“Thank you to everyone who loves and appreciates our vibrant downtown and was willing to put their vote behind it, earning Knoxville recognition as one of the nation’s premier arts districts,” said Liza Zenni, executive director of the Arts & Culture Alliance. “Knoxville’s residents and visitors take advantage of the wonderful arts experiences we have to offer. Now, people from across the country will be inspired to come to Knoxville to explore and celebrate the arts in our city.”

Knoxville promotes the full spectrum of art year-round with experiences like the First Friday ArtWalk, open-air markets in Market Square and the Old City and an abundance of talent including the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Opera, Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, an official poet laureate each year, theater companies and dance studios.

“Knoxville is not just a city that appreciates art; it’s a city that lives and breathes it,” said Michele Hummel, executive director of the Downtown Knoxville Alliance. “Our thriving art scene can be seen at every corner of the city, from the buzzing galleries to lively performances at businesses. The sheer variety and quality of artistic experiences available in Knoxville are unparalleled.”

Knoxville is joined on the Best Arts District list by cities diverse in size and offerings. The top 10 include:

  1. Dallas Arts District
  2. Knoxville Arts District
  3. Northeast Minneapolis Arts District
  4. University Circle (Cleveland)
  5. Historic Third Ward (Milwaukee)
  6. Tulsa Arts District
  7. Arts District Houston
  8. Richmond Arts District
  9. Wabash Arts Corridor (Chicago)
  10. The Pop District (Pittsburgh)

Learn more about Downtown Knoxville art events and locations at, and connect with the city’s art initiatives at

About the Downtown Knoxville Alliance

Ensuring a vibrant, flourishing downtown is the primary mission of the Downtown Knoxville Alliance (DKA). Formed in 1993 as a Central Business Improvement District (CBID), the district encompasses a 0.67-square-mile area and is supported by a special assessment to property owners that is used to make improvements, enhance services and promote downtown. The DKA continually focuses on attracting and retaining a thriving community of residents, businesses and visitors in Downtown Knoxville. For more information, visit

About the Arts & Culture Alliance

The Alliance was created in 2001 through a highly participatory community-driven process. Its predecessor was the Arts Council of Greater Knoxville, formed in 1974. The mission of the Arts & Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville is to serve and support a diverse community of artists, arts organizations, and cultural institutions. The Alliance is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable nonprofit organization. For more information, visit