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Station North Arts and Design Coalition Receives $150,000 Grant From NEA

Associated Press, Washington Post Feature MICA as a leading partner in Station North and the coalition

Posted 07.12.11 by MICA communications

MICA's Studio Center in Station North

Today, a Station North-based Arts and Design coalition, in which MICA is a leading partner, announced winning an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This award is one of only 51 grants awarded nationwide. The Coalition will receive $150,000 to support a $800,000 investment to revitalize Station North through art and design.

The Our Town grant is the NEA's latest investment in creative placemaking, through which partners from both public and private sectors come together to strategically shape the social, physical, and economic character of a neighborhood, town, city, or region around arts and cultural activities. In Baltimore, the grant will support an effort to enliven vacant lots and storefronts with creations by local artists, and monthly event to celebrate art and cultural events that take place within the Station North communities.

"Station North is a nationally recognized as the central hub of Baltimore's arts and entertainment community," said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "With the NEA's support, the work of local artists will supplement the important investments already being made by local universities, community leaders, and small business owners to ensure the sustainable revitalization of this crucial district."

"Communities across our country are using smart design and leveraging the arts to enhance quality of life and promote their distinctive identities," added National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman. "In this time of national economic upheaval, Our Town provides communities an opportunity to reignite their economies."

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 in 2002. Spanning the communities of Charles North, Greenmount West and Barclay, Station North is a diverse collection of artist live-work spaces, galleries, row homes and businesses - all just steps away from Penn Station and the light rail. A diverse coalition of nonprofits, government agencies, academic institutions, business and property owners, and community associations have been working together to establish the district as a regional destination for the arts and design, capitalizing on the district's existing artist community, proximity to multiple transportation options including Penn Station, and adjacency to several universities.

"As a leading partner in Station North, MICA couldn't be more thrilled about the NEA's support of this transformational area," said Fred Lazarus IV, President, MICA. "Fueled by the energy of MICA students, alumni and faculty and supported by the College's Graduate Studio Center, Station North has become Baltimore's artistic center, attracting creative individuals from across the country to take part in its development. Station North, with its galleries, performance spaces, eateries and shops, is an economic engine for the city, and with this grant, can continue to grow as a nationally recognized hub of emerging music and art."

"The leadership of the Station North Board has recently developed a strategic plan in collaboration with the community, City, local artists, designers, business owners, and developers, and the Our Town grant will create additional momentum for Station North to continue to evolve into a center of creative energy for the Baltimore region," said Mike Molla, Board Chair, Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc. "With NEA support, Station North is poised to begin its second decade as a State-designated arts district on an extremely positive foot."

"The Our Town grant enables us to accelerate the growth of arts and entertainment venues and opportunities for artistic expression within the Station North Arts and Entertainment District as other major in the redevelopment projects progress," said Joseph McNeely, Executive Director, Central Baltimore Partnership. "In recent years, there has been nearly $500 million of development in the central Baltimore area. The artistic and cultural development has been a catalyst for that momentum. It is important that opportunities for art and design grow with the area."

The Station North Arts and Design Coalition consists of the following partner organizations:

  • Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc. manages the Station North Arts & Entertainment District by supporting artists and designers so they can thrive personally and professionally; attracting and retaining local businesses; and welcoming others from across the city and beyond to experience all the District has to offer.

  • Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), founded in 1826, is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. Redefining art and design education, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement.

  • The Central Baltimore Partnership marshals the talent and resources of neighborhood organizations, non-profits, educational institutions, private businesses, and city government agencies.

  • D: center Baltimore increases awareness and expectations for quality design in the region and facilitates connections among Baltimore residents, design professionals, artists, universities and institutions, who believe that design has the power to revitalize individuals, institutions, and communities.

  • The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts produces high-quality special events, festivals and arts programming that stimulate communities economically, artistically and culturally.




















The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.

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