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Grant Gives Baltimore Art Districts A Much-Needed Facelift

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Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s three arts and entertainment districts are getting a facelift.

Christie Ileto explains how a $200,000 art grant is helping Baltimore get to know Europe.

Baltimore’s art districts are about to be more charming.

“The hearts of the entertainment district are the hearts of the Baltimore communities,” said Tracy Baskerville. “So what we’re doing is find creative ways to promote transit in the arts and entertainment districts.”

The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts just announced they’re getting a $200,000 grant from Art Place America that aims to add elements of Europe’s bus and train stations to Baltimore’s transit system through art.

For Baltimore’s Highlandtown area, it means a creative facelift. Chris Ryer, director of southeast community development, says one idea is adding funhouse mirrors inside bus stop shelters.

“It’s an opportunity to engage people around a place,” said Ryer.

The sites slated for makeovers include three intersections and bus shelters in Highlandtown, Station North and Bromo Tower arts districts, putting many local artists to work.

“It allows us to push money into the community,” said Randi Vega.

A new study shows last year, Maryland’s 19 art districts created about 4,200 jobs, paying more than $128 million in wages.

This latest project will bring almost two dozen local artists on board, while adding some European flair to Charm City’s art districts.

Artist applications for the project will stop being accepted in September.

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