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Baltimore partnership uses arts to revitalize city

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WBAL TV Baltimore

Baltimore was in the national spotlight Monday for its efforts to revitalize neighborhoods around the city. Participants of a conference toured areas that are in transition.

From Station North to Graffiti Alley and the new Motor House to the renovated Parkway Theater, new investment is breathing new life every day.

"Along this corridor there are more long-vacant commercial and industrial buildings being reused than anywhere else in Baltimore, and that's a testament to how important the arts are to redevelopment," said Ellen Janes, executive director of the Central Baltimore Partnership.

That redevelopment was the focus of three tours Monday in Baltimore City as part of the Re-inventing our Communities conference, hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

"This is a great example of community leaders coming together with the financial community, concerned citizens, to really take a lot of different efforts, different approaches, to come together to help improve a community," said James Narron, vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Station North still has its share of vacant buildings, but by revitalizing historic places like the Parkway Theater, the Central Baltimore Partnership has used the arts to breathe new life into the area. Community leaders from across the country and Baltimore took part to learn how to replicate this model.

"I'm taking information and new partnerships that we can work with. We have a building in west Baltimore, a school building from the archdiocese that we're trying to develop into housing. That's been an empty building, so I'm learning other options, other people who can work with me," said Mary Slicher, of Project Plase.

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