The role of artists as gentrifiers is long and deeply-held perception. The “SoHo effect” outlines how artists are often victims of processes they set into motion; they get priced out of the very neighborhoods they helped to “turn around.” However, Ann Markusen points out that gentrification is a “function of generalized pressure on urban land markets and that it does not occur in most small towns and in urban neighborhoods in vast portions of many cities.”

Does an increase in the concentration of cultural participants and non-profit arts organizations always precede gentrification? Is recognizing our own culpability the first step in changing the process?