Maryland’s Arts and Entertainment Districts: how the state program works

Map of Arts and Entertainment Districts in Maryland

The semi-annual deadline for communities in Maryland to submit an application for the statewide designation as an Arts and Entertainment (A&E) District is fast approaching, on October 1. Communities can apply as a sole entity or combination of entities for the state designation which makes them eligible for various tax incentives.

The benefits offered to designated districts include:

1) property tax credits for new construction or renovation of certain buildings that create live-work space for artists and/or space for arts and entertainment enterprises;

2) an income tax subtraction modification for income derived from artistic work sold by “qualifying residing artists”;

3) an exemption from the Admissions and Amusement tax levied by an “arts and entertainment enterprise” or “qualifying residing artist” in a district.

These incentives promote smart growth, creative placemaking and community design by focusing economic development in a specific area as well as around creative industry.

This program is but one of many in the state of Maryland that supports neighborhood revitalization–other examples include Main Street Maryland, Community Legacy and Neighborhood BusinessWorks. However, when the program was created by the General Assembly in 2001, it was the only (and remains today), the only arts-based revitalization program sponsored at a state level.

Watch this space to learn more about how the program revitalized one community, and for details about this year’s selections from the Maryland State Arts Council.