You are here


Maryland State Arts Council receives National Planning Achievement Award for Economic Planning & Development: American Planning Association honors success of Arts & Entertainment Districts

Maryland State Arts Council receives National Planning Achievement Award for Economic Planning & Development: American Planning Association honors success of Arts & Entertainment Districts

April 04, 2015Press Release

Baltimore (April 3, 2015) – The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) announces it will receive the National Planning Achievement Award for Economic Planning & Development from the American Planning Association (APA). MSAC’s award will be recognized collectively along with other Achievement Award recipients at the 2015 National Planning Awards Luncheon in Seattle, Washington, on Monday, April 20, 2015.

“Maryland is proud to be recognized for this exceptional program that has served as a model, placing the arts at the center of economic and community development. Maryland is home to hundreds of creative businesses that support jobs and generate tax revenue for our state,” said Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “This award is also a tribute to the local District leaders that have been on the front lines of revitalization and placemaking in their communities.”

Theresa Colvin, Executive Director of MSAC, will accept the award, along with Council Chair, Carol Trawick. The 12 Achievement Award recipients were selected by the awards jury as examples of strong planning work. The awards ranged from transportation planning to environmental improvements to urban design, among others.
In 2001, Maryland became the first state to implement a state-level Art & Entertainment (A&E) Districts program to encourage economic development and community revitalization in underutilized areas.

Under the direction of the Maryland State Arts Council, the A&E Districts Program has become a model for states across the country interested in using metrics to demonstrate the economic impact of a thriving art and cultural scene in a community.

There are 22 designated A&E Districts across Maryland in 15 counties. A&E Districts can be found in rural communities, suburbs, small towns and large urban environments. Districts receive designation for a 10-year period and may reapply after the initial period.

The A&E designation offers incentives to animate existing infrastructure and attract artists to invest and create unique cultural environments which house galleries, studios, arts centers, events, festivals and complementary businesses – all of which impact revitalization, heighten public safety, engage communities and increase the quality of life.
In addition, Maryland legislation has provided three incentives for these districts: A property tax credit for renovations or new construction of A&E enterprises, an abatement of the Admissions and Amusements Tax for A&E enterprises, and an income tax subtraction for income derived from the sale of art by qualified residing artists. These incentives are designed to attract artists and entrepreneurs to locate and create within A&E Districts to revitalize underutilized properties and to animate existing infrastructure.

Most recent statistics on the economic impact of Arts and Entertainment Districts in Maryland:

Economic Impacts

  • A&E Districts’ operations supported an estimated 5,144 direct, indirect, and induced jobs.
  • More than $458.2 million in total state GDP were supported by the A&E districts.
  • Nearly 149.2 million in total wages were supported by the A&E districts.

Fiscal Impacts

  • New businesses formed within A&E districts’ boundaries during FY13 generated nearly $4.2 million in tax revenues.
  • Visitor spending at A&E districts events supported more than $32.1 million in tax revenues.
  • The total tax revenue impact of the A&E districts came to approximately $36.3 million during the study period.

The Arts & Entertainment Districts Program is administered by the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Commerce within the Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts. For information on the program, contact Pamela Dunne, A&E District Program Director at 410-767-6555 or


About the Maryland State Arts Council 

An agency of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) is dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. Maryland State Arts Council grantees generate $1 billion in economic
activity and support more than 12,000 jobs and $45 million in state and local tax revenue. Source: Economic Impact of the Arts in Maryland: FY2013. For information call (410) 767-6555 or TTY (410) 333-4519. About the American Planning Association The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning — physical, economic, and social — so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, with almost 40,000 members worldwide in nearly 100 countries.

Media Contact: 

Contacts: Jill Kubatko, Communications Manager 410.767.8851 •

Pamela Dunne, Program Director 410.767.6484 •