Cincinnati finalist for Best City for Street Art in US

The Queen City is once again in the running for the title of Best City for Street Art – and you can help our region secure the top prize and bragging rights over some of the biggest cities in the United States.

Cincinnati is one of 20 cities on USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards in the street art category. The other finalists consist of some of the expected heavy hitters, such as New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago. But there are other, smaller cities on the list as well – Oklahoma City, Venice, Calif., Detroit, Portland, Ore. and Austin, Texas, to name a few.

‘Mr. Dynamite’ mural in OTR

Voting remains open through Monday, Feb. 19 at 11:59 a.m. EST. People can vote once per category, per day.

“(Cincinnati) is more vibrant than ever,” said Jill Dunne, director of marketing and communications for ArtWorks.

Making Cincinnati its canvas

ArtWorks commitment to public art over the past three decades is one of the primary reasons for Cincinnati’s addition to the list each of the past three years. The nonprofit’s public art program creates pieces that enrich Greater Cincinnati communities while providing job opportunities to teen and young adult apprentices and professional artists.

Over the past 27-plus years, ArtWorks has made more than 300 works of public art with support from entities such as ArtsWave the city of Cincinnati.

One of its biggest endeavors is the creation of an outdoor gallery of murals spread across the city. To-date, there are more than 230 murals spread across downtown, Over-the-Rhine, Walnut Hills and dozens of other Cincinnati neighborhoods. ArtWorks pieces are found in seven nearby cities as well.

‘Avondale Heroes’

Pieces highlighted by the 10Best team are “Mr. Tarbell Tips His Hat,” “The Golden Muse,” “Mr. Dynamite” and “Ice Cream Daydream.”

“I know (ArtWorks and public art) has made an impact on Cincinnati and all of its neighborhoods,” Dunne said. “We’ve shaped the city and we’ve shaped lives, and it would feel awesome to be recognized as the best.”

Queen City ranks highly on national lists

The 10Best lists consist of a variety of categories, ranging from food and art to destinations and travel gear. A panel of experts submit nominees to 10Best for consideration. The publication’s editors then narrow the field down to a final set of 20 contestants.

The Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the Cincinnati History Museum are finalists for the top history museum in the country. Additionally, the American Sign Museum in Camp Washington is on the short list for best pop culture museum and The Children’s Museum received a nomination in the kids’ museum category.

‘Armstrong’

Cincinnati has finished in the top 10 in the Best City for Street Art category each of the past three years, including a high of No. 2 in both 2021 and 2022. Dunne hopes that trend continues in 2024.

“As a Cincinnati resident, I am proud of my city and would love to see it win this award,” she added. “Our community treasures our murals, and I urge everyone who agrees to cast their vote.”

VOTE: 10Best “Best City for Street Art”


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