Crisfield considers Arts and Entertainment district

Crisfield considers Arts and...

CRISFIELD, Md - Discussions began in the City of Crisfield concerning a proposed Arts and Entertainment district Thursday at the library on Collins Street.

Among the 35 residents who attended, most agreed with adding the district to the city.

"There's a lot of local artists, there's a lot of musicians. So I think it could be very beneficial to the town to amalgamate all of the energy and create a nice little arts district," said local resident Bruce Stisi.

Rick Pollitt, Crisfield City Manager, says the area is filled with creative talent that can benefit from this new district.

"We just want to have an opportunity for people who don't have the resources to develop their talents and promote them and share them.  We want to give them a way to do that."

With the tax credits and income tax benefits available for those who on property or reside in the district and produce some form of art, it can mean more money in the pockets of the citizens. 

According to Pollitt, the credits and benefits are a win-win for the residents and the city, saying history shows tax credits in Arts and Entertainment districts lead to growth in tax revenues.

The city could also benefit from a boost in economic activity with an influx of visitors, and potential business partners who see more people coming to Crisfield.

"Hopefully it will develop shops where people will come... display the products of their art," said Pollitt.  "Other businesses will come to the area just to be able to feed off of the traffic, so it's a good economic development tool for bringing in other businesses as well."

The next step in the process is to get volunteers together and approach county commissioners who are part of the tax incentives.  But as of now, the organizers of this district say they are very encouraged.

Officials say the ideal spot for the district would be in the downtown area, with one proposal starting at City Hall and running down to the dock.

Somerset County must support the initiative for Crisfield to apply.  The application for the district must be presented to the Maryland State Arts Council by April 1, 2018.

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