Working Artist Resource
Baltimore has long been known for its vibrant arts community. From visual to musical and dramatic to experimental, artists of all kinds are welcome here. Visit our Arts & Culture section for more information about the City's art assets.
Living options abound in Baltimore, from live/work spaces, to loft apartments with great natural sunlight, to warehouses and historic homes ready for renovation. If you are a practicing artist, you may be interested in living one of the City's three Arts and Entertainment Districts - Bromo Tower, Highlandtown, and Station North.
Bromo Tower A&E District
Located in the heart of Downtown between Read, Park, Lombard, and Paca Streets, the Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District unites the city’s Downtown arts community. Its visual and performing arts venues include the Arena Players, the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, Everyman Theatre, and the France Merrick Performing Arts Center at The Hippodrome along with local independent artists collectives Current Gallery, EMP Collective, the H&H Building (Gallery Four, the Whole Gallery) and Sub-basement Studios among many other arts assets. The Tower A&E District is easily accessed by public transportation and is located in close proximity to the city’s main sports venues, the Convention Center, the many residences, hotels, and offices Downtown, and the Inner Harbor. For more information visit the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts.
Highlandtown A&E District
Encompassing Highlandtown, Patterson Park and portions of Canton and Greektown, Highlandtown A&E offers artists the opportunity to live and work in one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in the City. Highlandtown A&E boasts southeast's largest collection of retail and industrial spaces, along with affordable housing and a convenient location, easily accessible from I-95, I-895, Fells Point and Downtown. For more information visit theHighlandtown A&E District.
Station North A&E District
Located in the heart of Baltimore, Station North was the first area in the city to receive the state designation as an arts and entertainment district. Spanning the communities of Charles North, Greenmount West and Barclay, Station North is a diverse collection of artist live-work spaces, galleries, rowhomes and businesses - all just steps away from Penn Station and Mount Vernon. Part of the Central Baltimore Partnership, there is a 20-year vision plan to transform this entire area. For more information visit the Station North A&E District.
Arts & Entertainment District Incentives
Created by an act of the Maryland legislature in 2002 and reinforced by a similar initiative from Baltimore City in the same year, Arts & Entertainment Districts were intended to act as catalysts of economic development for the state’s bourgeoning creative class. There are four general kinds of assistance offered under this legislation:
Property Tax Incentive
A 10-year property tax credit for renovated buildings that provide live-work space for artists and/or space for arts and entertainment enterprises:
The property tax credit is prorated to reflect the proportion of a rehabbed building that is used by a resident artist or A&E enterprise. The credit only applies to improvements made to the property. To calculate the credit, multiply the improved amount of assessed value of the property by the below percentages to come up with the amount of assessed value eligible for a credit. This number can then be multiplied by the current tax rate to equal the dollar amount of the credit.
Property owners renovating live-work spaces in an A&E district can contact the MD State Department of Assessments and Taxation to determine the building’s eligibility. Within 90 days following receipt of a tax assessment, property owners must file a tax credit application with the City’s Department of Finance. Property owners must annually re-certify that the building is being used in compliance with the property tax credit. Full instructions and tax credit applications can be found at www.baltimorecity.gov/Government/AgenciesDepartments/Finance/TaxCredits.aspx
Income Tax Incentive
An income tax subtraction modification: Artists living and working in an arts and entertainment district can claim a tax subtraction for income derived from the sale, publication, production or performance of an artistic work that is created in the district. Form 502AE (Subtraction for Income Derived within an Arts and Entertainment District) and instructions can be found on the website of the Comptroller of Maryland at www.comp.state.md.us, under forms and instructions for filing personal taxes.
Admissions & Amusement Tax Incentive
The admission and amusement tax exemption is designed to encourage artist activity in designated Arts and Entertainment (A&E) Districts. Baltimore City currently has two A&E Districts: Station North. The 100% tax exemption relates to the admission and amusement tax on any gross receipts levied by a qualified residing artist or A&E enterprise. The exemption is for a period of 10 years from the date the qualifying residing artist or A&E Enterprise registers with the Department of Finance.
Artists should contact the Baltimore City Department of Finance at 410-396-4940 for more information.
MD Economic Development Fund
Financial assistance from the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Fund: The program was designed to be a non-lapsing revolving loan fund to provide below market long-term, fixed rate financing to specific growth industry sector businesses locating or expanding in priority funding areas. While there are five capabilities offered under this incentive program, the relevant one for Arts & Entertainment district purposes is found under Capability 5: Special Purpose Grants and Loans. Assistance may be given to an individual, private business, not-for-profit entity, or local government, or a Corporation that intends to use the requested financial assistance for a project that has a strong potential for expanding or retaining employment opportunities in the State.