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City plans third arts district in West Baltimore

Last week, The Baltimore Sun ran a couple of pieces on the city's proposal to create a so-called arts district in West Baltimore.

Here's an excerpt from articles for and against the project:

"City officials backed by Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake are to be applauded for moving ahead with plans to create a new arts and entertainment district on Baltimore's West Side near downtown. The area has been pegged for redevelopment as a cultural hub for more than a decade, but the pace of change has been disappointing. Anything that helps jump-start the process is all to the good.

One might well ask why the area even needs a formal designation as an arts and entertainment district, given the ambitious renovation of the Hippodrome Theatre (which re-opened on the west side in 2003) and the imminent arrival there of the Everyman Theatre Company. Isn't it already on a path to becoming the cultural magnet its backers originally envisioned?"

Read the entire article here.

"A proposal endorsed by Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake would make the city's west side into an arts district, which the administration hopes will help turn around the ailing neighborhood.

This is not the solution. Why? Baltimore already has two arts districts -- Highlandtown/Patterson Park and Station North. It doesn't need a third.

The city declared Highlandtown/Patterson Park an arts district in 2003. That same year, the Creative Alliance at the Patterson (pictured), a mixed use arts/performance space, opened. Offering art exhibits and cutting edge performances, the Creative Alliance was supposed to be the cultural anchor for an arts renaissance in Highlandtown.

Nearly seven years later, Highlandtown/Patterson Park hasn't seen a sliver of the artistic explosion and revitalization that was supposed to happen. Aside from the Creative Alliance and the Southeast Anchor Library, Highlandtown/Patterson Park doesn't have much more in the way of arts than it did in 2003."

Read the entire post here. And now tell us what you think...

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