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City Lights: Shining the Spotlight on Hyattsville's Arts District

Writer and filmmaker Tanecia Britt talks about living in EYA's mixed-use development on Baltimore Avenue.

I have always been a fan of city lights.

I have found through my travels that every city has a skyline. At night what makes them different is how each city glows. As I drive south down Route One, I have to drive through . The only thing wrong with this area is that I do not see any artists around to make it shine.

Of course there are artists that live in the area but when I think about the living community in the arts district, I know for a fact that your average starving artists would never be able to afford to live there.

If you can afford to live in the arts district there is artist housing available but there is a two- year waiting list. If you work for yourself, then you completely understand that time waits for no one.

As an area resident, I have seen how the arts district has begun to flourish. This does not mean that there is no room for improvement. How can we as residents do our part for the arts district? Of course it is up to the city to make these amenities available to the public, but as a resident you hold the obligation to do your part.

To me it is very clear—the arts district in Hyattsville needs artists. In order to have a district that caters to the arts, I made the suggestion that the arts district needed a few more entities to really solidify its brand. I made the suggestion to have more independently owned and art influenced like movie theaters, cafes, production studios, etc. Building these venues would not only pull in more revenue for the city but it would attract more influential artists and people.

There are so many artists who live here already but thrive throughout the area and internationally. I say it’s time to bring that talent home. Artists have to feel like they are wanted. They have to feel as if there is opportunity wherever they are. Even though the arts district is still in development, the artists need to begin coming out and exploring it more. As an artist living in Hyattsville, I would say it starts with us.

The promotion of the arts district begins with the artists that already live in Hyattsville working with city government. Hyattsville is more than just a city; it’s a brand and with the arts district it stands out even more in the Metro region.

I could see years from now people coming into Maryland to stay in Hyattsville’s arts district. For now what we have is the essence, the structure, sitting right in front of our faces. Visit the arts district even if it’s for a quick meeting or bite to eat. Fill the district with the essence of you.

Edward April 22, 2011 at 06:18 PM
I hate to nitpick, and I think you mean well, but this article is very poorly written. "The only with this area is that I do not see any artists around to make it shine." There's a missing word in this sentence. "If you can afford to live in the arts district there is artist housing available but there is a two- year waiting list." I believe that should read "If you can't afford to live in the..." You also repeatedly say "I made the suggestion"... made the suggestion where? ...I appreciate your attempt at constructive commentary on the progress on Route 1, but your impact--not to mention your point--is largely obscured by poor editing!
Sarah Nemeth April 22, 2011 at 06:52 PM
Thanks for your thoughts Edward! I appreciate the feedback. I missed the first point -- it was my fault for removing a phrase and not replacing it. I regret the error and made a change to it! As for the second, the writer's intention was to say that even if you can afford to live at EYA, there's still a two-year-long waiting list. Thanks again and please feel free to email me with any concerns you may have in the future. I'm sarahn@patch.com Thanks, Sarah Editor
Angel April 22, 2011 at 09:01 PM
I completely agree with you. I think that every community definitely needs a place where different people can go and commute as well as enjoy themselves. You would be surprised how many people in your community are just like you, have the same interests you have or just enjoy the arts in general. It's very ideal to have different spots in every downtown in the country, but what about just the community. We can't forget about the few people around us that stay cooped up in the house or have to travel 45 minutes away because there is nowhere in their own area for leisure. So yes, I totally agree that this is something that needs some attention. Got My Vote! ~Angel
Ryan Davis April 22, 2011 at 09:36 PM
I didn't even know there was an art district locally. Great read, Edward needs to loosen up, I learned something new today, and grammar didn't get in my way!! ;-)
Twink April 22, 2011 at 09:46 PM
I drive past there often but I had no idea that area was an "art district". Thanks!!! Edward must be an english professor at some prestigious college. lol He should become an editor for "The Patch".

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