We often talk about how lucky we are to live in an area that is so rich in culture:
music festivals and movie theaters,
art galleries and artists’ studios,
book fairs and boat festivals,
live theater and lecture series,
sailing lessons and story telling. . .
It’s almost as if someone said, here’s a town – let’s fill it with all manner of arts and entertainment. Well, that’s kind of exactly what has happened.
This past summer, Chestertown was designated by the Maryland State Arts Council as an Arts and Entertainment District.
So what does that mean? Well, for visitors it simply means more of a good thing. More events, festivals, shopping, opportunities for fun. For residents, it means more job opportunities, tax incentives for arts related developments, and an even more vibrant place to live.
Chestertown is a pretty small place. When we talk about “downtown” we’re talking about High Street from Spring Street to Queen Street, and extending over to Cross Street, which is really just a few blocks. With the new designation, the downtown will be expanded to include the waterfront, the marina and all the way over to Wilmer Park for a total of 51 acres. This article in The Chestertown Spy explains it a bit better than I can.
AND, concurrent with the A&E designation, Chestertown has also received a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant, which will be used to create a Public Arts Master Plan. Essentially turning the town into a walking art gallery, with installations in different places that will encourage people to stop, look and even linger. An example of what this might look like was seen during last weekend’s RiverFest which we told you about in the last blog post…and here’s a little video evidence:
And here it is lit up at night:
Amazing stuff!! If this is any indication of what’s in store, then we can’t wait for it to start in earnest. We’d love to see Chestertown grow and thrive as an arts destination. It would be beneficial to the residents as well as the local businesses, and the Brampton is all for it!