Arts and Entertainment District

The A&E district in Cambridge is centered within the core of the downtown, stretching outward to encompass approximately 137 acres. Thriving galleries and artist studios now exist along with entertainment venues, working artists, and art organizations including Wednesday Morning ArtistsMain Street Gallery, and the Dorchester Center for the Arts.

Click HERE for the Cambridge A&E District Brochure (pdf)
Click HERE for the Cambridge A&E image 1 illustrative logo
* Click HERE for the Cambridge A&E image 2 illustrative logo
Click HERE for the Cambridge A&E image 3 Made in Cambridge

The boundaries of the Cambridge A&E District extend from northeast shores of Cambridge Creek and across the drawbridge including parts of the creek shoreline north to the Municipal Yacht Basin, west to just beyond High Street and south to encompass parts Pine, Washington and Cedar Streets. See map below.

* Arts & Entertainment District Map - click HERE

The City of Cambridge was first designated as a Maryland Arts and Entertainment (A&E) District by the State of Maryland in 2002. After a 10 year period as a rising arts community, Cambridge was successful in obtaining re-designation in 2013.

* Cambridge A&E Resolutionclick here

There are residential and commercial properties in the Cambridge A&E District for sale that range from $28,000 to $699,000.  Most are under $250,000. Many others are available for rent. They include storefronts, also eligible for Maryland historic tax credits and Cambridge façade improvement grants, and interior spaces on High, Poplar, Race and Muir Streets. Ideal candidates for A&E benefits are artists that live in counties and communities where no A&E Districts exist.

* Map of available properties in the Arts & Entertainment Districtclick HERE

* News Release January 2014 - click HERE

* Community Feedback Form for event holders within the district - click HERE

DISTRICT BENEFITS
This state program provides three levels of incentives that are open to eligible artists, businesses/organizations and property owners.

  1. Abatement of Admissions and Amusement Tax

    The admissions and amusement tax gross receipts from any admissions and amusement charge levied by an arts and entertainment enterprise or qualifying residing artist in an arts and entertainment district of the City are exempt for a period of ten (10) years from June 30, 2013.

  2. Property Tax Credit

    The owner of a manufacturing, commercial, or industrial building that is located in an arts and entertainment district; and is wholly or partially renovated for use by a qualifying residing artist or an arts and entertainment enterprise can be eligible for a property tax credit for six (6) years, as long as the building is used by a qualifying residing artist or an arts and entertainment enterprise.

    * City of Cambridge Property Tax Applicationclick here

    Property owners must use this application to apply for the Cambridge A&E property tax credit.

  3. Artist Income Tax Deduction - NEW 2014 Legislation

    Any artist, who resides in Maryland, creates artistic work in ANY of the 22 A&E Districts and sells that work in ANY of the 22 Districts will be eligible for the artist's income tax incentive. The act takes effect July 1, 2014 and is applicable to all taxable years beginning after December 31, 2013.

    New definition "Qualifying residing artist" means an individual who

    (a)   owns or rents residential real property in the STATE;

    (b)   conducts a business in ANY arts and entertainment district; and

    (c)   derives income from the sale or performance within ANY arts and entertainment district of an artistic work that the individual wrote, composed, or executed, either alone or with others, in ANY arts and entertainment district.

    This change leverages a statewide market for artists, empowering you as A&E managers with a stronger incentive to attract artists to locate studios, galleries, and performance venues in underutilized spaces within Districts and to cross promote both Districts and artists.

    MD form 502AEclick here

    This is the income tax subtraction modification form that must be submitted with state income tax returns.This tax benefit only applies at the state level.

MARYLAND ARTS and ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT PROGRAM RESOURCES
Detailed information on the Maryland A&E Program description, legal definitions and regulations is available below:

* State of Maryland Regulations Chapter 26 Arts and Entertainment Districtsclick here

The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC)
MSAC, an agency under the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), administers the Maryland Arts and Entertainment District Program.

* Maryland A&E District FAQclick here

* MSAC A&E District link - www.msac.org/artsandentertainment

Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED)
DBED provides financial assistance to eligible applicants for arts and entertainment projects.

* MEDAF Loan Program - Specialized Economic Development Opportunity / Arts & Entertainment – click here

Comptroller of Maryland
Specific questions regarding the artist income tax benefit can be addressed to [email protected]