A list compiled a few years ago found that ranking locations with museums according to zip codes, Raleigh finished a rather impressive 23rd place, ahead of Miami, Las Vegas, Seattle and other big names. Our seven museums, including Artspace, not only draw tourists to the county but also inspire thousands of Wake residents to volunteer and support them.
Museums give Wake County a distinctive identity. Very few state capitals offer a similar quantity or quality of museums, particularly located so closely together that you can easily walk to visit most of them within a few minutes.
Particularly of note in these tough economic times are what a bargain our museums are for most people. For example, theNorth Carolina Museum of Art charges no admission fee to see its permanent collection. They are also family-friendly attractions, with plenty of activities for younger guests to enjoy. That is a big advantage to many tourists as well as residents. And business travelers like museums for providing them with a quiet, stress-free way to pass the time during their stay here.
Our museums have earned us national attention. In the latest edition of Places Rated Almanac, Raleigh finished as one of the top 15 among the “Ambience: Small Winners” category thanks in part to our arts galleries and museums. In fact, we finish among the top 30 among municipalities of all sizes surveyed, ahead of Minneapolis, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and many others.
Let’s continue to treasure and improve our local museums. They give us so much for so little in return, and that is something everyone appreciates nowadays.