Explore Baltimore’s Arts & Entertainment Districts
Light your creative fire with a visit to these four districts.
Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District
The glowing blue clockface of the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower acts as the greeter to the Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District. This district, established in 2012, stretches across the neighborhoods of Downtown West, Seton Hill and Mount Vernon with plenty of things to do and see in between. You can take in a traveling Broadway production at the Hippodrome Theatre, or for a more intimate theater experience, visit Everyman Theatre or the Arena Players. See awe-inspiring exhibitions at any of the dozens of galleries in the district, including spaces housed inside the Bromo Tower, Maryland Art Place and Terrault Gallery. Explore the history of local jazz and literary legends at the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center and the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum.
While satisfying your hunger for art and culture, don’t forget to satisfy your actual hunger. This district is filled with great places to grab a quick bite or sit down for a meal. Visit Lexington Market for local favorites like Faidley’s Seafood and Connie’s Chicken & Waffles. Grab a coffee or smoothie at The Bun Shop. Make plans to have an authentic Italian dinner at Forno.
Highlandtown Arts & Entertainment District
One of the largest in the state of Maryland, the Highlandtown Arts & Entertainment District, known as Highlandtown Arts or ha!, spans much of Southeast Baltimore, including Patterson Park, the Highlandtown neighborhood and parts of Greektown and Canton. The district is rich in cultural diversity, and it shows in its spectacular offering of galleries, performance venues, historical landmarks and even restaurants. Stop by the Creative Alliance for everything from film festivals to art exhibitions to improv comedy shows. Don’t forget to pose in front of the massive steel and wood “BUS” sculpture at the bus stop (where else?) in front of Creative Alliance. Make your way to Patterson Park for an assortment of activities, including Rhythm & Reels, a family-friendly concert and movie series, the $5 5k Run/Walk, camps and sporting events for the kids, and, if you’re lucky, maybe even a live concert by the award-winning Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Wrap up your day by grabbing a much-buzzed-about deep-dish pizza from Matthew’s Pizzeria, a chili dog from the Food Network-famous G&A Restaurant or a delicious Peruvian dish from Chicken Rico.
Station North Arts & Entertainment District
With its proximity to the renowned Maryland Institute College of Art, expectations for the Station North Arts & Entertainment District as a hub of creativity are high. And it does not disappoint. Amid the mural-covered storefronts and rowhomes in Station North, there are a bevy of eclectic art galleries, workshops, live music venues and public art spaces in which you can fully immerse yourself in Baltimore’s creative circle. Learn to sew, woodwork, laser cut or create publications in Adobe InDesign in any of the dozens of classes available at Open Works. Catch a movie at the historic Charles Theatre or discover a new filmmaker at the Parkway Theatre, the home of the Annual Maryland Film Festival. Rock out at the Ottobar, named one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “10 Best Live Music Venues in America.”
Once you’re done taking in the sights and sounds, chow down on scrumptious Station North bites. At Noona’s, you can enjoy a coal-fired, sourdough pizza and homemade pasta. Small plates of fresh, rustic dishes come with big pleasure at Tapas Teatro. And bold flavors come to life at Korean barbecue restaurant Jong Kak.
Pennsylvania Avenue Black Arts & Entertainment District
This newly designated A&E is sure to make a name for itself as one of the go-to places to experience Baltimore’s dynamic arts scene. Spanning the neighborhoods of Penn North and Upton, Pennsylvania Avenue Black Arts & Entertainment District shines light on the area’s vibrant history as a cultural corridor for African American artists and makers. Plans are in the works to create a museum honoring jazz legend Cab Calloway, a hometown great who, along with Billie Holiday, performed at the Ave’s legendary Royal Theatre. Much more is on the horizon for this district, so stay tuned!