In response to the recent City Paper article on the future of Station North, we want to recognize Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's interest in and commitment to the arts.
Baltimore is experiencing a renaissance fueled by a vibrant and incredibly diverse arts and culture sector-just think of the High Zero Festival, Sankofa Dance Theater, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Muse 360, Everyman Theatre, or the EMP Collective. The arts are drawing audiences, residents, and investments throughout the city, not just to Station North.
The work of these and many other organizations, in combination with a surge in individual artists now choosing Baltimore as home, has had a tremendous positive impact on neighborhoods and communities. We are also on the eve of two incredible city-supported arts events: the Sondheim Prize announcement, which recognizes and nurtures individual artists, and Artscape, a free art and music festival that draws more than 350,000 people from across the region. These moments remind us how arts and culture are integrated into the city's identity, spirit, and cultural tourism plans.
Of course, everyone always wants more from the city, but we know that the mayor recognizes that funding arts and culture is an investment that pays significant dividends-$388.2 million in total economic activity. We are very grateful for the mayor's support of such important developments as the new Bromo Tower Arts and Entertainment District, and all three of the arts districts for that matter. We are working with the mayor's office and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts to encourage the reinstatement of the Creative Baltimore Fund, which at one time provided critical funding to cultural organizations as well as artists.
The good news is that the door is open, conversations continue, and we have a mayor who values the arts.