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Maryland’s Arts and Entertainment Districts Bring New Businesses, Jobs and Event Spending to Communities Statewide

Maryland’s Arts and Entertainment Districts Bring New Businesses, Jobs and Event Spending to Communities Statewide

December 01, 2017Press Release

Maryland’s Arts and Entertainment Districts Bring New Businesses, Jobs and Event Spending to Communities Statewide

New study affirms significant economic impact as state adds a 25th district

A new economic impact study released this month shows that Maryland Arts and Entertainment (A&E) Districts collectively supported $855.8 million in state GDP, approximately $63.5 million in state and local tax revenues, and 8,594 jobs that paid nearly $267 million in wages in FY2016. Managed by the Maryland State Arts Council, the A&E District designation makes available to Maryland counties and municipalities various tax benefits to encourage artists, arts organizations, and businesses to locate within a specified geographic area. Since the program’s inception in 2001, the growing number of districts across the state have helped communities spur economic revitalization and leverage the arts to work toward community-driven creative placemaking goals.

Earlier this year, Oakland was designated as the program’s 25th district by Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill.  The Oakland Renaissance A&E District will build on renewed interest in the town by artists and arts-related businesses to add to its downtown revitalization efforts and attract tourism, seeking to make the town a thriving hub of arts activity once again.

“This terrific program helps artists and arts organizations contribute to Maryland’s rich cultural fabric and gives counties and municipalities a way to harness the power of the arts and help grow our economy,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Maryland’s 25 A&E districts are a win for the arts community, our citizens, and the entire state.”

The study, which was conducted by Towson University's Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI), marks RESI's fourth 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 FY2012 and FY2014 studies looked at those years alone. The FY2016 study adds a comparative analysis, showing significant overall increases for jobs (+2,617), wages (+$60.5 million), tax revenue (+$23.5 million), and GDP (+$261.6 million) between the 2014 and 2016 fiscal years. 

Maryland’s 25 A&E Districts are spread throughout 15 counties and Baltimore City. Each district works to promote its unique character while bolstering arts activity, promoting livability, and encouraging tourism. In addition to Oakland, the Maryland A&E Districts are Annapolis, Bel Air, Berlin, Bethesda, Cambridge, Chestertown, Cumberland, Denton, Elkton, Frederick, Frostburg, Grantsville, Hagerstown, Havre de Grace, Leonardtown, Salisbury, Silver Spring, Snow Hill, Stevensville, and Wheaton as well as Prince Georges County’s Gateway Arts District and Baltimore City’s Station North, Highlandtown, and Bromo Tower districts.

About the Maryland State Arts Council

Founded in 1967, the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) is celebrating 50 years of service to the arts.  As an agency of the State of Maryland's Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, MSAC encourages and invests in the advancement of the arts for all Marylanders. Its grants and programs support artists and arts organizations in their pursuit of artistic excellence, ensure the accessibility of the arts to all citizens, and promote statewide awareness of arts resources and opportunities. For more information, visit

About Maryland Commerce

Maryland Commerce stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State's many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. Since they are major economic generators, the Department also supports the arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit