Millennial Haven

Time Magazine recently released research showing where millennials are finding homes, working and raising a family and Virginia
cities claim the top two spots.

Virginia Beach is ranked no. 1, followed by Richmond at no. 2. The number of millennials in Richmond grew 14.9 percent — or by 5,176 people — between 2010 and 2015. The research, conducted
by the Urban Land Institute, shows that while cities like Los Angeles and New York City are still places considered “millennial magnets,” the research brings to light the most relative growth for the millennial population.

Richmond constantly ranks in the U.S. News & World Report
for Best Places to live.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, it may due to a relatively high annual salary and astrong job market for the age group.

However, Richmond resident Alyssa Hard believes the art scene plays a large role in millennials flocking to the River City.

“The art scene in Richmond isone that is non-gendered,” Hard said. “It’s an art culture that isn’t afraid to break the rules and norms. The people of Richmond are of all genders, and while the transgender and non-binary community here continue to grow, so does their art and this contributes to the unique forms of art found in richmond. It’s non-traditional and gritty because of the unique people who are making art.”

While Richmond is a city full of American history, it is also one that is trying to write a history of it’s own. Richmond has become a place of acceptance for many of it’s residents, who report that it’s somewhere they moved to because they felt like they could be
“I chose Richmond because it’s a place where I don’t have to hide my tattoos,” said Alice Bennette, Richmond resident. “I can walk around and people notice me not just what’s painted on my body.”
With the tattoo industry in Richmond continuing to grow, numerous publications have named Richmond as a “top tattooed city.”

“A lot of people travel to Richmond to get tattooed by certain artists and it’s a more accepting place if you have tattoos,” said Paria Tehari.

Recently, UnKindness Art, a tattoo parlor on West Broad Street
in Jackson Ward, competed on “Master Ink” on Spike TV.

Richmond’s art scene is catered to an array of audiences, with content relatable for under-represented groups. Enriched by Richmond natives and out-of- town college  students who contribute to the art
scene, the strong love for art can be seen during First Friday, an art walk down West Broad Street on every first Friday of the month.

With free entries to stores and galleries to view art, such as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond receives a substantial amount of guests. The accessibility of the Richmnd art scene plays a role in artists’ inspiration. The art many times is external like the murals covering the buildings and the streets, making it possible for anyone to feel like a
part of the art world.

“The art scene here is small so it’s easier to get into the scene and find community,” said Amarise Carreras, a recent VCUarts graduate. “Whereas other cities can be more competitive and harder to get your foot in the door, this area is also much more affordable than big cities like New York or Los Angeles so you get more of a chance to become an artist without being a starving artist.”


KEYRIS MANZANARES, Contributing Writer

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