Somerset County Economic Development Commission
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Crisfield is Maryland's newest A&E District
July 6, 2018

, Salisbury Daily Times

The Maryland Department of Commerce has announced Crisfield has been designated Maryland’s 26th Arts & Entertainment District as of July 1, making it Somerset County’s first Arts & Entertainment District.

The program is administered by the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency of Maryland Commerce. 

“Maryland’s Arts and Entertainment Districts are significant contributors to the state’s economy, supporting more than 8,500 jobs and generating $855 million toward our GDP,” said Gov. Larry Hogan in a release.

“These districts serve an important role in revitalizing communities across Maryland and give artists and creative enterprises the opportunity to develop unique arts experiences that attract residents and visitors alike.”

Maryland's Arts & Entertainment Districts Program was established in 2001 to encourage community engagement, tourism and revitalization. The designation makes available a set of tax credits and incentives meant to encourage economic development through the arts.

These benefits include property tax credits for development that supports spaces for arts enterprises and artist housing; income tax credits for Maryland artists who work and sell within any of the state’s 26 A&E Districts; and exemptions from the admissions and amusement tax for eligible enterprises located within district boundaries. 

Crisfield’s A&E District designation is the result of a grassroots effort on the part of the city’s artists and community members, who worked in cooperation with city government to conceive and plan for a district that aims to use the arts as a positive force for economic development and revitalization.

The district comprises more than 98 acres from the downtown commercial area on the waterfront to the uptown area — a historically black district that was once a thriving area with many small local businesses and entertainment venues.

A newly created 501(c)(3) organization will manage the district, building on an already successful series of 4th Saturday Bay Strolls and other arts-centered events to build the identity of Crisfield as a destination for creative individuals as well as tourists.
A&E Districts are designated for 10 years.


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