Arts district would help city thrive

April 07, 2010

Last weekend, I visited Philadelphia and was charmed by their neighborhoods, museums and, especially, the section of Broad Street designated as the "Avenue of the Arts," with its many theaters and restaurants. Similarly designating the section of Howard Street, including the Everyman and Hippodrome theatres, will stimulate development, tourist traffic and more ("New arts district on way?" April 7). Its proximity to downtown hotels, sports venues and the University of Maryland professional schools and Medical Center will draw residents as well.

While I understand the concern expressed by Hippodrome Hatters co-owner Judy Boulmetis about her retail business, I would assure her that arts districts can attract large amounts of foot traffic giving her greater public exposure — not to mention that artists well understand the impact and drama of a great hat!

I sincerely hope that Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlins-Blake gets the local and federal support she needs to make this a reality. Baltimore is such a unique place. We have the neighborhoods, history, architecture, museums, performing arts, sports and, heaven knows, the quirks that make a city interesting. We got it, let's flaunt it!!

Susan Sachs Fleishman, Baltimore

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