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Sec. Johansson announces redesignation of Silver Spring A&E

Sec. Johansson announces redesignation of Silver Spring A&E


Second of Maryland’s 19 Arts and Entertainment Districts to be redesignated for another 10 year period. Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Christian Johansson today announced the redesignation of the Silver Spring Arts and Entertainment District for a second 10-year period. The Silver Spring Arts and Entertainment (A&E) District is one of Maryland’s 19 A&E Districts and one of the first to be designated when the program was created in 2001. Pictured:  Silver Spring Jazz Festival in Silver Plaza on Ellsworth Drive

December 07, 2011Press Release

“The Silver Spring Arts and Entertainment District redesignation is the culmination of years of work and tireless effort by the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development and its many devoted volunteers,” said Secretary Johansson. “Downtown Silver Spring is an active community that embraces the arts. As a redesignated A&E District, Silver Spring will be able to continue to take advantage of the economic benefits and tax incentives of the program and to improve the quality of life by connecting the arts to the community’s development.

“Downtown Silver Spring’s transformation into a vibrant office, residential and entertainment destination has been a priority of Montgomery County elected officials, business leaders and local residents for over two decades,” said Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett. “The original designation, and now the redesignation of the Silver Spring Arts and Entertainment District, has played a important role in this revitalization, most recently bringing The Fillmore to Downtown Silver Spring – an achievement that would not have been possible without this designation.”

Administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce through the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), the A&E program provides tax benefits designed to boost economic development and create districts filled with artists and arts enterprises.  Under the guidelines of the State’s A&E Program, the Secretary of the Department of Commerce can designate up to six districts each calendar year, but only one per county. As part of the designation’s benefits, artists working in the districts can receive an income tax credit. Developers who create spaces for artists to live and work can apply for qualified property tax exemptions for up to 10 years.

“The core of the Silver Spring A&E District is the Central Business District,” said Steve Silverman, Montgomery County Department of Economic Development director.  “Our Department oversees the district and ensures that property owners, businesses and artists are not only made aware of the incentives available through the District but also assists in packaging A&E District incentives with other programs available in Downtown Silver Spring.”

When an Arts and Entertainment District is designated by the State of Maryland, they receive a 10-year designation and are eligible for tax incentives during that period. Before that 10-year period expires, if the district wishes to continue to be part of the A&E Program, they must apply to be redesignated by the state.

In addition to Silver Spring there are 18 other jurisdictions across Maryland that have received A&E designation:  Baltimore City’s Station North and Highlandtown, Annapolis, Bel Air, Berlin, Bethesda, Cambridge, Cumberland, Denton, Elkton, Frederick, Frostburg, Hagerstown, Havre de Grace, Salisbury, Snow Hill, Gateway District (Prince George's) and Wheaton. The Gateway District was the first A&E District to be redesignated.

Application information is available online on the Maryland State Arts Council website at For more information, contact Theresa Colvin at (410) 767-6412.


The Maryland State Arts Council is an agency of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts and is dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. In 2010, non-profit arts organizations and arts programs that received operating support from the State Arts Council contributed $1 billion to the State’s economy and provided more than 10,600 full-time-equivalent jobs to Maryland residents.