Gateway Arts District breathes new life in Prince George's County

A portion of the Prince George’s County Route 1 Corridor is breathing new life thanks to the arts.

A unique community known as the Gateway Arts District formed in 2002 and now county leaders want to see even more growth. The Arts District includes the Mount Rainier, Brentwood, North Brentwood and Hyattsville neighborhoods. Together they offer shopping, entertainment and restaurants capped off with art studios and galleries.

County leaders want developers to take notice and begin investing.

“Having that funky type of place that we can have in Prince George’s County that people are used to only going into the District or some other places are right here,” says Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker.

Baker says the Gateway Arts District plays a key role in economic development and growth.

“I believe that we can not only go up the Route 1 Corridor for the Arts District all the way up to the University of Maryland, but down the Route 1 Corridor through the District of Columbia,” he says.

Founded in 2002, four neighboring municipalities took on one goal: to revitalize and provide a unique environment for artists. Over a decade later, it’s home to new families and businesses, including the Urban Eats Café. That’s where community members came together Wednesday to discuss plans for the future.

“We have artists and entrepreneurs, we have retail, we have wholesale, we have community institutions that are rooted here and not going anywhere,” Arts Management consultant Anne L’ecuyer says.

“The vision that we have at the Prince George’s African American Museum is called Paper Dolls and it features the artwork of Ulysses Marshall, who’s an artist that lives here in Prince George’s County,” says Jon West-Bey of the African American Museum.

The goal now is to attract more investors so the area continues to flourish. A $50,000 grant funding the Art Lives Here campaign is helping to do just that.

Arts District stakeholders have also applied for a $300,000 grant to continue funding their initiative. In the meantime, a number of events are taking place this month so you can get to know the area better.