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“Nationals October 2019

Annapolis Arts District partners for $15,000 of landscaping on Clay Street gateway

| July 22, 2019, 01:57 PM

The Annapolis Arts District has long been an advocate for improving the Clay Street community gateway.  The main entrances to this historic African American community off of Calvert Street and W Washington Street is part of the Annapolis Arts District. The Annapolis Arts District also calls the Stanton Community Center located in the community its administrative home base.
Several years ago the Annapolis Arts District and others worked to save Whitmore Park on the corner of Clay and Calvert Streets from being sold off by the County to become a private office building. Whitmore Park over the past year has received major upgrades to its landscaping and retaining walls. Whitmore park hosts First Sunday Arts Festivals, community events, is the home of the Civil Rights Foot Soldiers Memorial and the Pearl Bailey Mural. This summer a new pavilion for performances was installed by County Parks and Recreation. Other positive investments in the Clay Street community this year include new affordable Veterans housing on the corner of Clay and W Washington by a variety of partners including First Baptist Church, Stanton Community Center received a new interior paint job from City Parks and Recreation, Workforce Development opened an office in the Stanton Center to help people find jobs and training to move up to better jobs, the County has been working on making repairs for the past year to both the exterior and interior of Whitmore Parking Garage on Clay Street and a section of St. Anne’s Cemetery wall in the community was repaired along Northwest Street.
The Annapolis Arts District this year received a grant from the State’s Keep Maryland Beautiful program for $5,000 and Home Depot for $100 to re-landscape around the County-owned Whitmore Parking Garage along Clay Street and W Washington Street. The County stepped up with a matching in-kind donation providing landscape design, site clean-up, soil preparation and labor to deliver and plant all the new landscaping. This $10,000 landscaping project was finished at the end of June. This landscaping has many  blooming trees and bushes. It will bring a colorful display to the area with dogwoods, magnolias, roses, hydrangeas and other blooming plants. The Whitmore Parking Garage is the largest structure at the entrance to the Clay Street community. Its maintenance is one of the first impressions people see as they enter their community. The parking garage is also a great asset to those visiting downtown Annapolis as it is the second least expensive of seven public downtown parking garages. It is only $2 every day after 4pm and free on Sundays until 4pm. The least expensive parking garage is the State owned Calvert Street parking garage (aka State Garage) located a block away, which is free every evening and free all day Saturday and Sunday.
The Annapolis Arts District has also just been notified it has been awarded a $5,000 green grant from BGE to improve landscaping and reduce run-off around the small County parking lot on the edge of this community at the corner of Northwest Street and Calvert Street. This landscaping project will go in this fall and be complimented by a new mural by Jeff Huntington going up in this parking lot later this summer. The Annapolis Arts District is also working with the Stanton Center to see if an unlandscaped corner of the community center can be landscaped this summer.
“Most of the property around these entrances of the Clay Street community have been County and State owned since urban renewal and maintenance of these properties has been very limited for decades. We are happy to be part of the positive strides over the past couple years the community has made.” says Erik Evans the Executive Director of the Annapolis Arts District. “Many different people have invested in making the Clay Street community better over the years including the new and remodeled homes, the many services provided at the Stanton Center, public art installations by Future History Now and the recent beautification project. We still have more work to do. We have been in contact with the State requesting them to improve their exterior maintenance of their property at 45 Calvert Street and we need to add more public art in this corridor. The community is also requesting the return of the community concerts in Whitmore Park that use to be managed by We Care and Friends. We are reaching out to everyone to help with funding to bring back these community concerts to Whitmore Park.”
Those wishing to partner with the Annapolis Arts District a 501c3 non-profit to bring more public art, concerts and arts education to the community  are invited to send donations to Annapolis Arts District 92 W Washington Street Annapolis MD 21401 or reach out to Erik Evans at [email protected]

Severn Bank

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