Culture’s continuous obsession with finding the most “creative city” has yielded more of the same: indices and lists chock-full of the juggernauts we’ve come to expect: New York City, Los Angeles, or Austin. They get most of the credit, while only being home to a specific creative experience.
We set out to profile the cities that haven’t constructed such a glowing creative reputation quite yet—the emerging places that might challenge our existing perspectives on what makes a city creative.
Our team developed our inaugural index through a multi-phase approach to research. To stay true to WeTransfer's vibrant creative community, we first leveraged anonymous product usage data to see where pockets of creative output are spiking across the United States. We then scored cities by creative growth and ranked top cities through an extensive qualitative factor analysis. How do these cities unexpectedly influence their citizens’ creativity? How might these cities challenge us to consider our own cities in a new way? Which cities might cause us to consider a fresh start, due to an unconventional approach to creativity?
Introducing the WeTransfer Emerging Creative Hubs Index.
Pea the Feary feels the power of Atlanta’s raw creative energy. Can you?
As told to WeTransferThe Atlanta illustrator, with a spiritual philosophy of care, discusses the city’s ancestral hunger, the power that resides in our surrounding environment, and the raw creative energy surging through the city that’s waiting to be tapped.Read more
In Madison, there’s no reason to be sad if you can dance with AJ Juarez
As told to WeTransferAJ Juarez, founder of Barrio Dance, tells us about the future in Madison that’s yet to be built, the self-taught mechanisms of creativity that complement his work, and the generous neighborhood surrounding his city and his studio.Read more
Dani Meluski-Jimenez makes time for the things she cares about in Norfolk
As told to WeTransferCreative director Dani Meluski-Jimenez dives into personality’s outsized influence on creativity, the power that comes with accessible opportunity, and the professional growth waiting for you wherever you settle down—if you look for it.Read more
Find the right creative hub for you
Ten cities, ten emerging creative hubs, and ten potential places to lay your creative head on a pillow. Take our quiz to find out which city makes sense for you.Take the quiz