In recognition of significant contributions made to Maryland’s economy through art and culture, the Silver Spring Arts and Entertainment (A&E) District received the State of Maryland’s Arts & Entertainment District Outstanding Achievement Award on June 4. Silver Spring tied for the award with Prince George’s County’s Gateway Arts District.
The award was presented by Hannah Byron, assistant secretary of Maryland’s Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) and Pamela Dunne, program director of the Maryland State Arts Council. Accepting the award were representatives of the Silver Spring Arts & Entertainment District, including Reemberto Rodriquez, director of the Silver Spring Regional Center; Mike Diegel, chair of the Silver Spring Arts and Entertainment Advisory Committee; and Elizabeth Gallauresi, arts coordinator for the Silver Spring Arts and Entertainment District.
“Having Silver Spring recognized by the State of Maryland with the Arts and Entertainment District Outstanding Achievement Award is indeed an honor,” said County Executive Isiah Leggett. “Over the past two decades, Downtown Silver Spring has undergone a transformation making it the vibrant office, residential and entertainment destination that it is today.”
The award recognizes Silver Spring’s success in marketing and promoting events within the district as well as the district’s role in economic and community revitalization. Last year, Silver Spring celebrated its first decade as an arts and entertainment district and was re-designated as a State A&E District. The opening of the Fillmore Silver Spring brought a unique music, entertainment and community-use performance venue to the A&E District marking the culmination of 10 years of revitalization efforts and community partnerships spearheaded by the Montgomery County Government.
With the Fillmore Silver Spring’s opening as another anchor to the A&E District, performance space within the district now includes Round House Theatre, Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) auditorium, the Silver Spring Civic Building, the Blair Mansion Inn, and outdoors at Silver Plaza and Veterans Plaza. The opening of The Fillmore Silver Spring complemented the existing nightlife of live entertainment performed in many downtown restaurants.
Within its 369 acres, the Silver Spring A&E District hosts more than 40 arts and entertainment businesses, enterprises and non-profit organizations, including the American Film Institute (AFI), Discovery Communications and Peterson Companies, as well as more than 50 pieces of public art.
Administered by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development through the Maryland State Arts Council, the A&E program provides tax benefits designed to boost economic development and create districts filled with artists and arts enterprises. As part of the designation’s benefits, artists working in the districts can receive an income tax credit. Developers who create spaces for artists to live and work can apply for qualified property tax exemptions for up to 10 years. The State of Maryland currently has 19 A&E districts designated, including three in Montgomery County – Silver Spring, Wheaton and Bethesda.
A new economic impact study conducted by Regional Economic Studies Institute in Towson, MD, shows that in fiscal year 2012, the 19 Maryland arts and entertainment districts collectively supported an estimated 4,188 jobs that paid more than $128.1 million in total wages, plus a total State Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $379 million and total tax revenue of $29 million.
The Arts & Entertainment Districts Program is administered by the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency of DBED within the Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts. For information on the program, visit www.msac.org.
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Media Contacts: Elizabeth Gallauresi, 301-793-2928 or
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Reemberto Rodriquez, 240-777-5300