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If there is such a thing as an “It” city, surprisingly, the city of brotherly love currently holds that distinction. National Geographic Traveler named Philly “The Next Great City”, for reasons that have nothing to do with cheese steaks, the Liberty Bell, or Rocky Balboa. In fact, Philadelphia’s second coming is a direct result of what is new about this famously historical city. Sure, tourists still flock to see and learn about the Bell, the Constitutional Convention, the Declaration of Independence, and even Betsy Ross’ house, but they will also enjoy sitting in the surrounding parks, viewing any of the city’s 2,400 murals, and checking their email, thanks to one of the most highly publicized projects: making the entire city Wi-Fi. Additionally, America’s fifth largest city has recently seen the only US hosting of the Live 8 concert and the internationally famous Dali exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Art students considering school in Philly may enjoy active gallery scene in Old City, the public art exhibits, and even a number of art collectives, such as the Space and Black Floor, that feature local artists (e.g. Tim McFarlane, Rebecca Rutstein, Anthony “TC” Campuzano) whose work seems to be as much a product of the city as the artists themselves. In addition to all there is to do and see, art students will also find a historic city that, ironically, is young. Whether it’s Old City, Washington Square, Rittenhouse, South Philly, or University City, roughly 290,000 students call Philly their home. Among them, Gina Antonelli, a U of Arts student and native New Yorker, explains that she chose to study in Philly because of its “accessibility for young students” and that it offers, “a freedom to develop your art without having to worry about all the unnecessary competition.” Furthermore, Art Institute student Graciela Ramiraz says she left her home in Indiana to study in Philadelphia because she was drawn to all the museums, the public art, and the rich history of the city. Whatever the reason, art students deciding to study in Philadelphia will not only enjoy all that the city has to offer, but also the excitement surrounding a city that has once again come into its own.