Prince George'’s County Council (MD)

County Arts Leadership
2002

Americans for the Arts and the National Association of Counties recognized Prince George's County Council in Maryland for its efforts to create the Gateway Arts District.

In 1999, the Prince George’s County Council provided support for a local nonprofit, the Gateway Community Development Corporation (Gateway CDC), and residents from four adjoining towns—North Brentwood, Brentwood, Mount Rainier and Hyattsville—to conduct an arts summit with artists, arts organizations, educators, business owners, and elected officials to consider how the arts could be used as the foundation for a broad-based community revitalization strategy. From that meeting, artists, arts organizations, and residents began to collaborate on creating an arts district along historic Route One, an entryway into the county and the “mainstreet” shared by the four communities.

A feasibility study of over 6,000 regional artists resulted in the creation of four anchor projects, one in each of the four participating towns. The county executive made the Arts District a priority project and the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County adopted it into its work plan. Now a $70 million community revitalization program, the Arts District includes:

  • Artists’ live/work projects in Mount Rainier, Brentwood, and Hyattsville that will include more than 150 affordable live/work units, 20,000 square feet of new retail space, a community arts center, a cooperative gallery, and space for an expanded public library;
  • An African-American Cultural Center in North Brentwood, featuring a 20,000 square foot cultural center and a 200-seat black-box theater;
  • An arts education program active in five local schools;
  • The installation of public art in four locations;
  • A façade renovation program for artistic color, signage, and awning treatments, with over 60 businesses participating; and
  • Marketing and programmatic support for local artists and arts organizations in the Arts District.

In January 2002, the state of Maryland named the Gateway Arts District one of four officially designated arts districts in the state. For more information on the Gateway Arts District, call 301.864.3860.