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Arts & Entertainment Districts

Arts & Entertainment Districts

A Structure for Creative Placemaking: Arts & Entertainment Districts

Maryland’s Arts & Entertainment (A&E) Districts help develop and promote community involvement, tourism, and revitalization through tax-related incentives that attract artists, arts organizations, and other creative enterprises to towns and cities across the State.


A&E Districts Across the State: Creative Places to Explore

Maryland's 26 Arts & Entertainment Districts are unique destinations, each district reflecting the traditions and evolving culture of its community and welcoming residents and visitors to experience the best Maryland has to offer. Explore the map below to see District boundaries and learn more about each District.



Since Maryland became one of the first states to create an A&E Districts program in 2001, 25 districts have been designated, and the state has reaped the innumerable social and economic benefits inherent in creative placemaking projects. The program's most recent economic impact study shows that in fiscal year 2016, 24 Maryland A&E Districts collectively supported $855.8 million in state GDP, approximately $63.5 million in state and local tax revenues, and 8,594 jobs that paid nearly $267 million in wages.

View the fiscal year 2016 A&E Districts Economic Impact Report.


Application Process

Maryland counties and municipalities may apply for A&E District designation for specific areas where they want to encourage creative placemaking activity and unlock the A&E Districts program's tax-related benefits.  There are two annual deadlines for the A&E District Application, April 1 and October 1. Applicants are required to submit an Intent to Apply form 60 days prior to application deadlines.  Following the Intent To Apply, MSAC staff schedules a site visit and consultation, and the prospective district must hold a community forum and submit an extensive application with the chief elected official's endorsement. Panel review of the applications and a staff recommendation precede a final designation determination by the Secretary of Commerce.

2018 Arts & Entertainment District Designation Guidelines and Application


A&E District Technical Assistance Grant

Designated Maryland Arts & Entertainment Districts may apply to MSAC for one Technical Assistance Grant each year. Applications are accepted quarterly. See the Available Grants Box for deadline information.


Public Art Project Grant

For FY19 Public Art Project grant information, click here.