The Easton Business Alliance is currently working with the Town of Easton to pursue a Maryland Arts & Entertainment District for a 113-acre section of town in and around Easton’s historic downtown. The district will offer tax benefits to qualified-residing artists, arts and entertainment enterprises, and developers renovating or building new construction for arts organizations.
“This state designation is something that we’ve been piecing together for quite some time,” Easton Business Alliance director Ross Benincasa said. “To know that we are finally in the home stretch is a great feeling.”
Benincasa presented to the Easton Town Council during a working session the evening of February 18, focusing on the benefits of obtaining the Arts & Entertainment District designation and what it can do for areas in need around Easton’s downtown.
“Overall, the designation comes at a low cost to the Town, while supporting the development of new arts programs and enterprises in Easton,” Benincasa said. “We see the tremendous economic impact the arts have in Easton and Talbot County, both through businesses and events, and it’s time for us to formalize a plan to continue that growth into the future.”
The proposed Easton Arts District would include income tax benefits to qualified-residing artists who create and sell their work in A&E districts, as well as property tax abatements to developers who renovate or build new spaces for arts and entertainment enterprises, including affordable live-and-work environments.
If passed, the Easton Arts District would fill a void in Talbot County, currently the only county on the Eastern Shore without a designated Arts & Entertainment District. According to Benincasa, the high-interest development areas within the proposed district include mixed-use locations along Dover Street and in the East End community, as well as along Brookletts Avenue.
To learn more about the proposed Easton Arts District, please visit www.discovereaston.com/arts-