Arts and Entertainment Districts

Exciting things are coming out of our Arts & Entertainment Districts all the time. There are 19 districts in Maryland, which is the first state to sponsor these districts as a form of economic engagement and a way to heighten quality of life. Four of the 19 districts are in the Greater Baltimore region–Annapolis Arts & Entertainment, Highlandtown Arts, Station North Arts & Entertainment, and Town of Bel Air Arts and Entertainment. In March, the Station North Arts & Entertainment District was awarded the Annual Outstanding Achievement Award for its work over the past ten years. Station North Arts & Entertainment is in the midst of strategic planning, and just launched an updated version of their website this week.There are many incentives to artists and entrepreneurs working in arts and entertainment districts. If you look the the Highlandtown Arts webpage, you can see a pretty comprehensive listing of those benefits.A common misconception about arts and entertainment districts, and the organizationsthat serve them, is that they are city, county, or state agencies. While they may receive some grant funding from any of these sources, and while the state designates arts and entertainment districts, most of these organizations are non-profits, relying heavily on their volunteer boards, and their small staffs (if they have them). They’re working to serve the artists, organizations, cultural workers, and citizens of each area. So if you’re looking for a place to dedicate some time and energy, think about getting in touch with the arts and entertainment district nearest to you, and help to make the case that arts and culture are a powerful social tool that can bring energy and artists into neighborhood, and tie that community together, making it a better place for everyone who calls it home.Until next week–

Buck

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