Baltimore Turns to “Creative Placemaking” to Revitalize Neighborhoods

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The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower. Photo by Steve Ruark.
The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower. Photo by Steve Ruark.

Courtesy Bmore Media – A year ago, the director of a German institute approached Bill Gilmore about showcasing European culture in Baltimore.

Gilmore, the executive director of the city’s arts promotion office, spent the summer brainstorming with Wilfried Eckstein to determine how European art could enliven Baltimore’s transit systems.

That conversation set the stage for what’s about to happen this winter: artists and designers from Europe will come to Baltimore in January to begin the transformation of Penn Station in Station North, the Howard Street light rail line in the Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District, and bus stops in Highlandtown. Baltimore received a $200,000 grant from ArtPlace America to fund the project, which could put the city’s art scene quite literally on the map. “It’s become an opportunity to connect Baltimore to arts on an international level,” Gilmore says.

The transit project is an example of a larger national movement known as creative placemaking: using the arts to revitalize neighborhoods and boost local economies. According to a report issued by the NEA, artists account for three percent of the nation’s workforce, and the cultural industries support close to 5 million jobs.

Read more at Bmore Media



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