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Baltimore’s three designated Arts & Entertainment (A&E) Districts lead the city’s cultural renaissance and serve as a national model for cultural districts. The Bromo Tower, Highlandtown, and Station North Arts & Entertainment Districts have now hosted multiple international festivals featuring visual artists, musicians, and performers, which attract thousands of visitors to Baltimore and highlight these distinctive, culturally rich communities. A&E District management provides thought leadership by convening national conferences and publishing documents pertinent to the current state and future of creative communities across the country. A&E District managing organizations have received multiple ArtPlace America and National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grants, the most competitive grants for the arts and creative placemaking in the country, and recently has established an unparalleled partnership with the European Union National Institutes of Culture. The momentum spurred by A&E District activity and organizing has attracted public and private investment that has revitalized public spaces, redeveloped historic buildings and attracted students, young professionals, and families to live, work, and play in Baltimore.
Baltimore’s three Arts & Entertainment Districts are designated through a statewide Arts & Entertainment (A&E) District program administered by the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency of the State of Mary land under the authority of the Department of Commerce. With designation, A&E Districts are eligible for three state tax-related incentives, and are eligible to apply for an Arts & Entertainment District Technical Assistance grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.
For more information about Baltimore’s A&E Districts’:
In addition to well-established venues and attractions to the south, the Tower A&E District is bounded in the north by the Mount Vernon Cultural District and includes the Historic Seton Hill neighborhood. The extreme boundaries of the proposed district are Read Street (north), Park Avenue (east), W. Lombard Street (south) and S. Greene Street (west).
The Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District unites the city’s Westside community, and underscores its potential as a thriving arts neighborhood in downtown Baltimore. The Bromo Arts District is located in close proximity to the city’s main sports venues, the convention center, central business district, and the Inner Harbor. The District builds on a significant collection of existing arts assets, including visual and performing arts venues: The Arena Players, Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, Everyman Theatre, France Merrick Performing Arts Center; and venues representing local independent artists: Current Gallery, EMP Collective, H&H Building (Gallery Four, the Whole Gallery) and Sub-basement Studios.
The District is managed by Bromo Tower Arts Entertainment, Inc. in collaboration with the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and the Market Center Merchant's Association.
Click here to see the map of the district.
The Highlandtown Arts and Entertainment District, also known as Highlandtown Arts or ha!, is one of the largest districts in the State. Consisting of 335 acres and nearly 10,000 people, it also contains one of the largest Main Street Districts in the City. Historically settled by first generation immigrant families from central and southern Europe, it is now being reborn with new immigrant families from Central and South America, as well as a number of other countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
The Highlandtown Arts and Entertainment District is a bridge between different cultures, where art is a tool to bring together people of different backgrounds, nationalities, races and ethnicities that now live together. In Highlandtown, the Arts and Entertainment District is a tool for building social capital, in other words, a tool to build positive connections between neighbors.
The mission of Southeast Community Development Corporation is to promote healthy, dynamic and diverse communities in Southeast Baltimore. In the Highlandtown Arts and Entertainment District, the mission and vision has focused on the word vibrant. We define vibrant as “something to do within walking distance” and in the Highlandtown Arts and Entertainment District there is always something to do within walking distance.
Click here to see a map of the district.
Located in the heart of Baltimore, Station North was the first area in Baltimore to receive the State designation as an Arts & Entertainment District in 2002. Spanning the neighborhoods of Charles North, Greenmount West, and Barclay, Station North is a diverse collection of artist live-work spaces, galleries, rowhomes, and businesses, all just steps away from Penn Station, Mount Vernon, Charles Village, the Maryland Institute College of Art, the University of Baltimore, and Johns Hopkins University. There are now 22 Arts & Entertainment Districts in Maryland, and similar programs in dozens of states. Station North continues to serve as a national model for Arts & Entertainment Districts, while Station North Arts & Entertainment District’s staff continues to speak locally, nationally, and internationally about the success of Station North.
SNAE strives to ensure that the Station North Arts & Entertainment District builds on its reputation as a nationally recognized creative hub and maintains its appeal to a diverse population of locals and visitors from near and far.
Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc. employs an arts-based revitalization and placemaking strategy by managing quality public art projects, providing thought-provoking programming, and forging strong supportive relationships with local artists, designers, residents, businesses, and institutions to guide development in the Station North Arts & Entertainment District.
Click here to see a map of the district.
In 2019, the state designated a new arts & entertainment district along Pennsylvania Avenue. Despite being the newest such district, the Black Arts & Entertainment District has continued to grow and produce events throughout the pandemic.
The Pennsylvania Avenue corridor has historically hosted Black artists and performers at its venues. Once viewed as the heart of Black culture in Baltimore, the jazz clubs along the "The Avenue" were filled with some of the most popular performers of the day — Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Eubie Blake, James Brown, and more.
Unfortunately, nearly all of the clubs they played in — Club Tijuana, Red Fox, the Comedy Club, Phil's, the Royal Theatre (pictured above), the Sphinx Club, Club Casino, Gamby's, Le Coq d'Or — don't exist anymore. The only live performance venue that remains is The Arch Social Club.
The Arch Social Club is still a a cornerstone for Black Baltimore’s civic, social, and cultural life. Now, it welcomes a new generation of activists, artists, entrepreneurs and patrons to The Avenue as the entryway to the Black Arts & Entertainment District.
To learn more about all of the awesome work happening on The Avenue, visit https://www.blackartsdistrict.org/welcome