Baltimore will be hosting the National Main Streets Conference April 1-4, 2012 in conjunction with the National Symposium on Arts/Cultural/Entertainment Districts taking place on April 4 and 5. These events will bring people to Baltimore from across the country to discuss the actions states and cities nationwide are taking towards strategic revitalization in an economy that has left communities, businesses, and individuals floundering. Contemporary policies and incentive programs will be discussed through the lens of the social, economic, and cultural impact of designated arts and entertainment districts. These events are taking place with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Maryland State Arts Council.
In addition to supporting the symposium, the NEA recently awarded a group of organizations based in Station North a $150,000 Our Town grant. This coalition includes Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc., Maryland Institute College of Art, the Central Baltimore Partnership, and D:Center Baltimore, and Baltimore Office for the Promotion and the Arts. Station North itself, the designated arts and entertainment district, spans the neighborhoods of Charles North, Greenmount West, and Barclay. 447 communities applied for the grant and the Station North coalition received one of only 51 grants awarded. $150,000 was the highest amount available through the grant.
Through the Our Town grant, the NEA is working to improve citizenship and increase the livability of communities. Not only do the Our Town grants financially support improving the quality of life, they seek to encourage creativity, create community identity, and revitalize local economies. Baltimore’s neighborhoods are distinct and often already provide a strong sense of identity. The Our Town grant that funds revitalization efforts in Station North will be able to capitalize on this sense of self-awareness in the arts and entertainment district and use cultural community endeavors to create collaborative partnerships between the public and private sectors.
“Communities across our country are using smart design and leveraging the arts to enhance quality of life and promote their distinctive identities. In this time of national economic upheaval, Our Town provides communities an opportunity to reignite their economies,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman.
For more information about the National Main Streets Conference and the National Symposium on Arts/Cultural/Entertainment Districts (taking place April 1-4 and April 4 & 5, 2012), please visit: http://www.stationnorth.org/calendar/nsaced.