Maryland's A&E Districts Spur Jobs, New Business
New study affirms economic impact; state adds two districts
A new economic impact study shows that in FY2012, 19 Maryland Arts and Entertainment (A&E) Districts collectively supported an estimated 4,188 jobs that paid more than $128.1 million in total wages--plus a total state GDP of $379 million, and total tax revenue of $29 million. The Maryland State Arts Council's (MSAC) A&E Districts enable local and county governments to apply for designation, which offers various tax benefits to encourage artists, arts organizations and businesses to locate in a jurisdiction.
"A&E Districts leverage Maryland's creative assets and commitment to strategic, modern investments that spur economic growth and enliven our communities," said Governor O'Malley. "Vibrant places invite businesses, families and tourism investments that support jobs and strengthen our economy."
The study, which was conducted by Towson University's Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI), marks RESI's second economic impact study on Maryland A&E Districts. The first study examined fiscal years 2008 through 2010 and reported on a three-year annual average. The new FY2012 study (PDF) looks at that year alone, and-as existing districts grew and new districts were added-indicates significant overall growth for jobs, wages, tax revenue and GDP.
ArtPlace America invests $440,000 in districts
Two major ArtPlace America grants will impact 4 A&E Districts. The first, a $200,000 grant to the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA), will support an art in transit collaboration between Baltimore's three A&E Districts (Bromo Tower, Highlandtown and Station North).
A second grant of $240,000 to Joe's Movement Emporium, will support phase II of "Art Lives Here," a visibility campaign designed to showcase creative life in Prince George's County's Gateway Arts District.
State designates two new districts
At a June 4 meeting of A&E District managers, the MSAC announced two new Arts & Entertainment Districts: Historic Stevensville Arts & Entertainment District in Queen Anne's County and Leonardtown Arts & Entertainment District in St. Mary's County.
As a hub of history, art and culture, Historic Stevensville on Maryland's Eastern Shore draws history enthusiasts and features opportunities to shop and dine within a quaint and distinctive village setting. Historic Stevensville Arts and Entertainment District is strategically situated to become town center for Kent Island with the goals of appealing to new, year-round business; offering diversified events; leveraging arts and historic assets to become an authentic destination, and create a welcoming and inviting streetscape. Queen Anne's County Office of Economic Development & Tourism will manage the District and bring with it the full spectrum of county connections, funding and marketing resources.
Located at the headwaters of Breton Bay, the Town of Leonardtown celebrated its 300th birthday in 2008 and is among Maryland's oldest towns. As St. Mary's County's only incorporated municipality, Leonardtown has a strong community government and active citizen and business participation. Leonardtown's quaint and attractive town square-one of only a few remaining in all of Maryland today-is among its most distinctive assets. The square is lined with historic buildings and is the perfect venue for most all of the town's concerts and events. As St. Mary's County's first A&E District, Leonardtown A&E District aims to develop the town as a regional tourist destination and support smart growth and development that protects the town's small charm, heritage and natural waterfront areas. Management of the Leonardtown Arts and Entertainment District will be led by the Town Administrator with support from an Advisory Committee.
In addition to Leonardtown and Historic Stevensville, there are 20 other A&E Districts across Maryland: Annapolis, Baltimore City's Station North, Highlandtown and Bromo Tower, Berlin, Bethesda, Cambridge, Cumberland, Denton, Elkton, Frederick, Frostburg, Gateway District (Prince George's), Hagerstown, Havre de Grace, Salisbury, Silver Spring, Snow Hill, Town of Bel Air and Wheaton.
About the Maryland State Arts Council
The mission of the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), an agency of the Maryland Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, is to encourage and invest in the advancement of the arts for the people of Maryland. The latest economic impact report shows that MSAC grantees' activities support more than 11,000 full-time equivalent jobs and generate $1 billion in economic activity and $37.8 million in state and local taxes.