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Of the Midwest Cities, how do their respective Downtowns stack up against each other in terms of culture?

Criteria should be based on the amount of theatres, music halls, musicals, opera, other performing arts, as well as their respective quality. It can also include museums, local music scene, art galleries, etc. Do not put focus on nightlife, sports, restaurants, etc because that has been done before in other threads.

Just curious what everyone’s opinion is and how you would rank the cities against each other.
 

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living in Atlanta, now and having been in LA the last 10 years, Cincy has impressed me more that any other city in the midwest minus Chicago. Most of the cities in the midwest are pretty much the same. Cincinnati is the most diverse economically. Not one sector stands out. The #1 employer is the University of Cincinnati followed by the Federal Government. Plus having 3 states as part of the metro, Cincinnati now competes with itself more, than others cities in the midwest.
The rest here is just a repost from " most charming"



Cincinnati USA is a three-state, 15-county region that provides all the economic, employment, transportation, education and quality of life advantages of a diverse metropolitan region. There's a vitality here in Cincinnati USA - a dynamic workforce and environment where businesses grow and people thrive as Cincinnati USA strives to capture our place as one of the world's favorite American business centers. It was also Places Rated Almanacs #1 city in 1994.

Home of the Reds, baseballs 1st professional team, and the Bengals founded by the legendary Paul Brown. Cincinnati is also home to the Master Series ATP Tennis Championship one of the 9 largest Tennis tournements in the World. Also Home of the Cincinati Bearcats, Xavier Musketeers, Miami Redhawks and Northern Kentucky University...also home to the Kentucky Speedway and Turfway Park and the Tournement Players Club/Cincinnati at Rivers Bend...

Arts in the city is huge, one of the Top 3 in the Country for total dollars raised by the United Arts Canpaign....There are more than 100 museums and galleries including the Cincinnait Art Museum and Taft Museum are two of the very best in the country, and the Zoo and Botanical Gardens is considered top 5 in the World, home to the very best breeding program bar none...... And the new Contempory arts Center has opened to International Rave reviews.. and this summer the National Underground Railroad Museum opens on the Riverfront... and Cincinnati is home to the largest public library system in the US...one of the best Symphony and Pops orchestras in the US and the oldest Balet Company and Maifest in the US...The city contains 138 parks covering more than 5,000 acres, including the largest municipal forest in the country in Mount Airy Forest. Various architecture around town from Art Deco to the beautiful Churches a Basillicas around town. And was the birthplace and home of many American Presidents..

Festivals, are a large part of life....We have the largest Octoberfest outside of Munich, one of the Biggest Fireworks displays in the country at Riverfest, and a Catholic School festival almost every week of the year... We have the Tall Stacks festival, the largest gathering of Steamboats in the World, The Cincinnati Flower show, the only show in North America endorsed by the Chelsea Royal Horticulture Society of England.

The following Cincinnati USA attractions were ranked nationally in Zagat's Top 50 national attractions, Summer 2004

Newport on the Levee - No. 1 family friendly shopping centers and malls
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden No. 13
Newport Aquarium No. 25
Cincinnati Art Museum best art museum. (Tie with four museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago)



convenience wise Cincinnati/NKY International airport is ranked #1 Gateway in the U.S. and #10 in the world by the International Air Transport Association survey. Also ranked one of the world's top major airports by Official Airline Guide.

Big business is also a part of Cincy #6 in US per Capita Fortune 500 companies and home of the world Headquaters of

AK Steel
American Financial
Ashland Inc. Cinergy Corp.
Cintas (largest Uniform maker)
Convergys
Federated Department Stores (Macy's, Bloomingdales, Lazurus, Richs)
Fifth Third Bancorp
The Kroger Co. (Ralphs, Fred Meyers, Dillons, Smiths, King Scoopers etc)
Procter & Gamble Co. ( makers of Crest, Scope, Folgers, Iams, Eukanuba, Old Spice, Secret, Olay, Cover Girl,Nyquil, Pantene, Tampax, Head & Shoulders, VS Sasoon, Noxema, Ivory, Hugo Boss, Vicks, Pepto Bismal, Mr Clean, Tide, Downy, Febreeze, Bounty, Charmin, Puffs and hundreds of other household products)

Omnicare
American Financial
Toyota Manufacturing North America
GE Aircraft engines
Chiquita Brands

don't forget Paramounts Kings Island home of the #1 and #2 Wooden Roller Coasters in the World, the Beast and Son of Beast... Coney Island with the Largest reserculating pool in the World... Places Rated Almanac, Fortune and Money have all stated that Cincinnati IS or is one of the best placed to live in the US....

Most Livable City
April 2004
Partners for Livable Communities

Esquire Magazine's Top 10 "Cities that Rock"
April 2004
Esquire

Cincinnati USA - No. 5 U.S. arts destination
Summer 2004
American Style Magazine

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park - 2004 Regional Theatre Tony Award
Summer 2004
Tony Award Productions

A thriving shopping city from Newport on the Levee, Rookwood Commons to the new Cincinnati mills mall in Ohio, rolling hills, rivers and lakes all around, big City pace, with small town charm. Part of the Golden Triangle of the largest concentration of Horse Parks in the world and the Gambling Riverboats in Indiana, Cincinnati has things to off the rest of the midwest just can't....


and some of the best restaurants in the world, from the Maisonette 5 stars for 40 straight years to 4 star places like Jean-Robert Pigalls, The Celestial and the Palace Restaurant, go to the Precinct for Zagets best steaks and the Montgomery Inn for Ribs that will make KC cry.... Don't miss out on the one of a kind Cincinnati Chili either... Oprah says that we have the best ice cream at Graeter's.....
and we have the only HOFBRAUHAUS in North America...


and Cincinnati has one of a kind neighborhoods that most cities in the US can't touch.... Over the Rhine , the largest historic neigborhood in the US... Mt Adams with it's small Village charm overlooking the city with shops, restaurants and bars, Hyde Park, Glendale and Indian Hills, one of a kind gems... the eastern suburbs that only Boston and New York can compare to, and rolling green hills and a River with charm and charactor.
 

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The Jive is Alive.
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Those are nice pics of Cincinnati, but what do they have to do with culture?

My picks:

1) Chicago
2) Minneapolis/St. Louis/Cleveland/Detroit
3) Cincinnati
4) Kansas City/Milwaukee
5) Columbus
6) Omaha
 

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I think Cincinnati might be a bit overrated.

Dayton has a particularly strong performing arts community.

It has a very innovative symphony orchestra with some creative programming (including a joint production this year of Tom Stoppards "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour"). Dayton also as an opera company.

Dayton has a professional theatre in 'The Human Race", but also Dayton Playhouse, and the community theatre group "Dayton Theatre Guild".

Daytons greatest strenght is in the dance. The Dayton Ballet is one of the oldest and the best regional ballet companies in the US, and performers new works and work commisioned specifically for the Dayton Ballet, as well as standards like Carmina Burana. There is also the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC), which is a dance company of national stature with a focus on the African American experience. A newer contemporary dance company is Rythym in Shoes, which does contemporary dance interpretations of traditional American theatrical dance from vaudeville and such, and folkdance....

Then there is Cityfolk, which is more a presenter, putting on folk and tradtonal music and dance acts from various dances...a more folkloric focus vs a fine art focus.

And there are the usual travelling Broadway shows.

For visual arts there is DVAC, which is a local "kunsthalle", and the Dayton Art Institute, which is the major museum, with a collection better than those in some larger cities. Although there are alot of local visual artists the gallery scene here is pretty weak, and there needs to be more spaces to showcase local painters, sculptors, and photographers.

There are two major performance spaces downtown..The Shuster Center (which is brand new) and the venerable Vicotry Theatre, renamed the Victoria....
 

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This is such a subjective question, but here goes:

1) Chicago
2) Minneapols/St. Louis/Cincy
3) Cleveland
4) Milwaukee
5) Columbus
6) Kansas City
 

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Once again, how does Chicago not rank out on top, hand down, in these "best of the Midwest" threads...???

There is probably more debate on the other Midwest cities below Chicago....
 

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How are all Midwest cities "pretty much the same"?

I really don't like people from outside the Midwest somtimes. I'm just going to sit here, overweight in my ill-fitting clothes, and maybe go tip cows to let off some steam.
 

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Jeff said:
I think Cincinnati might be a bit overrated.

Dayton has a particularly strong performing arts community.

It has a very innovative symphony orchestra with some creative programming (including a joint production this year of Tom Stoppards "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour"). Dayton also as an opera company.

Dayton has a professional theatre in 'The Human Race", but also Dayton Playhouse, and the community theatre group "Dayton Theatre Guild".

Daytons greatest strenght is in the dance. The Dayton Ballet is one of the oldest and the best regional ballet companies in the US, and performers new works and work commisioned specifically for the Dayton Ballet, as well as standards like Carmina Burana. There is also the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC), which is a dance company of national stature with a focus on the African American experience. A newer contemporary dance company is Rythym in Shoes, which does contemporary dance interpretations of traditional American theatrical dance from vaudeville and such, and folkdance....

Then there is Cityfolk, which is more a presenter, putting on folk and tradtonal music and dance acts from various dances...a more folkloric focus vs a fine art focus.

And there are the usual travelling Broadway shows.

For visual arts there is DVAC, which is a local "kunsthalle", and the Dayton Art Institute, which is the major museum, with a collection better than those in some larger cities. Although there are alot of local visual artists the gallery scene here is pretty weak, and there needs to be more spaces to showcase local painters, sculptors, and photographers.

There are two major performance spaces downtown..The Shuster Center (which is brand new) and the venerable Vicotry Theatre, renamed the Victoria....
Dayton might be underated, but Cincy has the goods on a larger level than everyone but Chicago. Have you been to the Museums in Cincy? The Art Museum, Taft and Contempory Arts are amoung the very finest. The Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a National Treasure as is Cincinnatis Museum Center at Union Terminal and the wonderful Music Hall. Broadway at the Aronoff or Taft is sweet. And the Balet IS the oldest. The Symphony is excellent and our Pops again is amoung the best. The Zoo is one of the best and world renowned for their unique rare animals and breeding program. Only Chicago can hang in the Restaurant deparment. The longest running 5 star restaraunt in America, and surely a second with Pigalls this year. Cincy had 3, 5 Star restaurants at one time. There are several hometown brews, including Sam Adams which is produced, and the recipe is home grown... and
has the only Hofbrauhaus in America.

To me culture is what makes a town one of a kind...
Where else can a big City be a true "Home Town."??? Just 3 years ago, you couldn't find a major national bank there. Now US Bank, which was founded in Cincy is its only national presence. 5/3, Provident etc are uniquely theirs. There are no 7/11, Stop & Gos, Circle Ks etc or national convenience stores. Just local UDFs (United Dairy Farmers) with their hometown brand ice cream served 24 hours a day. And Graeters, the only French Pot style ice cream out there considered the finest in the country. Krogers is national, but calls Cincy home. The best places in Cincy are Cincy products. Mortons and Ruth Criss will never hold a candle to the Precinct. The Montgomery Inn Ribs are the finest in the land. Even the Pizza from Larossas is special with its thin crust and gobs of sweet tomato sauce. And Cincinati Chili could only be considered a culture if not passion. The hills, Rivers and Vistas make Cincy unique. Sports wise the Reds and Bengals make up the obvious with great college B Ball from Cincy, Xavier, Miami and Kentucky. The Tennis master Cincinnati is the only Masters in the midwest and one of only 9 in the world. Cincy has the only TPC coarse in Ohio.

Cincinnati has lost it's hometown deparment stores, but Macy and Bloomingdales still call it home. And P & G is culturely invested in every home in America.

From Americas largest Octoberfest, Tall Stacks Steamboat festival, to the first and longest running "Taste of" event in the US Cincy has the most Unique culture the midwest has to offer...
 

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yo, those are terrific cincinnati pictures. i was wondering: were all taken in the city, or were some in the ohio suburbs or in n. KY?
 

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yo said:
Dayton might be underated, but Cincy has the goods on a larger level than everyone but Chicago. Have you been to the Museums in Cincy? The Art Museum, Taft and Contempory Arts are amoung the very finest. The Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a National Treasure as is Cincinnatis Museum Center at Union Terminal
Of those museums the only one that is operating at a naitonal or international level in terms of its collection is the Taft. The CAC is a kunstahlle, not a true museum, but I do like its shows...in fact I am member and drive down to Cincy for the openings.

The Union Terminal museums and that "Freedom Center" are not really museusms for the arts, which was the criterea for this thread.


Only Chicago can hang in the Restaurant deparment. .
Wrong. Louisville has a better, more innovative restaurant scene than Cincinnati....I don't know enough about other Midwestern cities to comment..... Anyway we are talking about the arts.

Incidentally, Cincinnati used to have a local art gallery scene, but that failed. The best local visual arts and gallery scene in the Ohio Valley right now is in Louisville, which has a suprsingly strong collection of collectors and artists, including commercial gallery spaces.
 

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Perhaps this thread would be more informative if posters would hightlight the strong and weak points of their cities respective cultural offerings in the performing and visual arts? That might be more usefull or informative than ranking the cities.

I bet there are some suprises out there.

For example, though I've never been, I have heard the Butler Institute of Art in Youngstown has one of the best American Realist collections in the US. Not something one would associate with Youngstown.
 

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Jeff said:
Of those museums the only one that is operating at a naitonal or international level in terms of its collection is the Taft. The CAC is a kunstahlle, not a true museum, but I do like its shows...in fact I am member and drive down to Cincy for the openings.

The Union Terminal museums and that "Freedom Center" are not really museusms for the arts, which was the criterea for this thread.




Wrong. Louisville has a better, more innovative restaurant scene than Cincinnati....I don't know enough about other Midwestern cities to comment..... Anyway we are talking about the arts.

Incidentally, Cincinnati used to have a local art gallery scene, but that failed. The best local visual arts and gallery scene in the Ohio Valley right now is in Louisville, which has a suprsingly strong collection of collectors and artists, including commercial gallery spaces.

You are dead on about Louisville, but I doubt any forumers will believe you, because they seem to rarely throw Louisville a compliment. The top restuarants are a large product of having the UPS air hub here (access to fresh, worlwide ingredients and also an international client base), and also the prescence of top chefs that graduate from Sullivan University (Emeril's alma mater) which is a top 3 culinary arts school nationally.

The alternative culture promotes the HUGE local art gallery scene here, which is centered in Buthcertown on the east side of downtown, and also along Franfort ave in Clifton and Crescent Hill. The Highlands also has a huge gallery scene, and each month there is a "Gallery Hop" where art patrons ride trolleys to all the art galleries near downtown and also along Frankfort ave at the end of the month gallery hop. They have wine and cheese and the artists get to showcase their art. Very cool.
 

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This question is certainly the most subjective! I can sit here and ram everything that Indy has to offer...compare it apples for apples with othe midwest peer cities and make it look like Indy is the second coming of Chicago. I am sure that Cincy, KC, and Mil. forumers can do the same.

Sports:
NBA
NFL
WNBA
AAA Baseball
Indy Speedway
Countless Olympic Sports

Museums:
IMA
Eitlejorg
State Museum
NCAA
Children's Museum
countless galleries downtown

Performance:
Ballet
Symphony
Orchestra
Every Off-Broadway event stop here

blah, blah, blah
 

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Yo:
Provident was bought by National City, and US bank was an aquisition not really started in Cincinnati, and definately not HQ'd there. There are so circle K's and convenience store chains in addition to UDF's. I hate to follow you around, but sometimes your indescrepancies strike me. Maybe you are homesick? It just seems like alot of the things you mention as being unique can be found in alot of places. No doubt Cincinnati is pretty and has culture though.

Of course I really dont care, its not like anyone gets a prize if they win.
 

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1.Chicago
2.Minneapolis/St. Louis
3.Milwaukee
4.Indianapolis
5.Cleveland
6.Cincy
7.Kansas City
8.Detroit
9.St. Paul (Has one of the largest Hmong population in the U.S. and also has a large hispanic community i.e. Del Sol on the west side)
 
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