From Shakespeare in the Park to weekend artgallery strolls, and from summer arts festivals toconcert halls showcasing orchestras and operas,there#xE2;#x80;#x99;s been an unprecedented explosion of artsactivities in communities far removed fromNorth America#xE2;#x80;#x99;s urban centers. At the same time, more of us are makingart and culture the focal points of our travel.Cultural tourism, which combines the impactsof these trends, has emerged as one of the mostpowerful influences in travel planning. The 100 Best Art Towns in America is thenation#xE2;#x80;#x99;s top cultural tourism guidebook. Communities ranging in size from several hundredresidents to cities with populations nudging100,000 are profiled from the perspective oftheir arts and cultural offerings. These townsand others like them are experiencing revitalization through arts-driven economic development#xE2;#x80;#x94;and garnering accolades in the process.