City loses bid for arts and entertainment district funds

Baltimore was not one of the cities invited to compete for a federal grant that would have helped it explore the feasibility of creating an arts and entertainment district on the west side of downtown, but local arts leaders say they hope to find alternative funds to continue their study.

The matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts would have given Baltimore up to $250,000 to determine whether to create an arts district on the city's west side and to evaluate the success of existing arts districts in Station North and Highlandtown.

NEA officials received more than 200 letters of interest in competing for the NEA funds, and chose approximately 15 cities or organizations as finalists.

Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake has said one of her top development priorities is revitalizing the west side of downtown by creating stronger links between its "arts, entertainment and sports assets."

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