About The Gateway Arts District
It began as a Conversation...
Founded in 2001 following the drive of four municipalities acting as one community to revitalize their neighborhoods and to develop an arts space designed to support artists' living and working, the Gateway Arts & Entertainment (A&E) District in Prince George's County is a safe, vital, and attractive mixed-use environment that celebrates the diversity of art and entertainment that exists in the two-mile corridor.
Local activists, municipalities, and county officials have long searched for a sustainable business culture along the Route 1 Corridor. During the early 1970s many long-serving mom and pop shops closed inside the Beltway: a drop in customers due to competitive pressures of newer, exurban sprawl developments. Seeing vacancies that presented as opportunities, the first articulated vision of hte arts district emerged in the early 1990s after the Planning Area 68 Master Plan was updated in an effort to encourage new development. A vision of studios supporting working artists, galleries, coffee shops and creative retail was crafted... Read in full
What's in a Name?
The Gateway Arts District is an area rich with collaboration between area businesses, organizations, sponsors, and resident artists; as such, many mistake local organizations, terms and mix-up Arts District borders. We understand this distinction can be very confusing, allow us to clarify the terminology:
The Gateway Arts District is comprised of the four municipalities of Hyattsville, North Brentwood, Brentwood, and Mount Rainier along Route One. As such, there are four layers of information to be clear on when speaking of the "Gateway Arts District:"
(1) There is the State recognized Gateway Arts & Entertainment (A&E) District, the tax-credit designation area by the State of Maryland;
(2) There is a Prince George's County-designated development district overlay zone for land use and planning purposes within the Sector Plan that is much larger than the 286 acres that is the State recognized A&E District;
(3) There is the misconception due to the private development that capitalizes on the (Gateway) Arts District with their name "Arts District Hyattsville;"
(4) And finally, there's the Gateway CDC, a non-profit serving the towns of North Brentwood, Brentwood, and Mount Rainier. The Hyattsville CDC serves the City of Hyattsville as well as its surrounding service area, including the Gateway Arts District.
Thus, for instance, while many refer to the "Hyattsville end of the Arts District," referring to the Arts District Hyattsville private development; or call the Gateway CDC or the Gateway Arts Center "Gateway," none of these are the "Gateway Arts District." They are independent entities.
To recap, the Gateway Arts District refers to the Arts & Entertainment (A&E) District, which runs along Route One (Baltimore Ave./Rhode Island Ave.) from Oglethorpe Street to Eastern Avenue, and features well-known anchors like the Arts District Hyattsville private development, the Prince George's African American Museum & Cultural Center, the Gateway Arts Center managed by Gateway CDC, and the Mount Rainier Artists' Lofts managed by Artspace. Each anchor belongs to a character area defined in the County Gateway Arts District Sector Plan, a blueprint for development standards that build upon our shared vision.