We’ve come a long way, baby!
The Denton Artsway first launched in 2005 in a tiny area of downtown Denton. Over ten years, working with the Denton Development Corporation, we made a big impact within our small footprint. Together, we rescued and restored two blighted buildings that now serve the arts: The Foundry Community Arts Gallery and the Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore. We also welcomed a new artist to the district, Jan Baker’s Fourth Street Gallery.
Leveraging our success, we significantly expanded the Denton Artsway in 2015. It now covers 90 acres of downtown Denton. As a state-designated Arts & Entertainment (A&E) District, the Denton Artsway offers incentives and resources for artists, arts-related businesses, and property owners.
Our vision is to create a vibrant and thriving downtown by attracting artists, arts-related businesses, and other small businesses to the district. We are just getting started, so stay tuned!
The Denton Artsway is managed by the Caroline County Council of Arts. An A&E District committee supports marketing, programming, and business services within the district. The committee includes the Town of Denton, Caroline Economic Development, and Caroline Office of Tourism. The Executive Director of CCCA chairs the committee.
Visit the Denton Artsway
The Denton Artsway encompasses 90 acres of shopping, dining, art galleries, public art, and performance space. Please use the map below to find your way around the Denton Artsway. Use the Google Map tools to zoom in and out and pan to view the district. Get more details and directions here.
Spend a Day in the Artsway
Downtown Denton is a charming and historic small town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. We welcome you to visit us and spend a day in the Denton Artsway! Here’s a sample itinerary of how you might spend your time when you’re here:
Book your stay at Turnbridge Point, a beautiful bed & breakfast on the banks of the Choptank River (119 Gay Street). Co-owner Chef Steve Konopelski was a finalist on Season 2 of Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship. A breakfast prepared by Chef Steve is a real treat, and it’s a great way to start your day!
Just across the street, you’ll find the Museum of Rural Life (16 N Second Street). This charming museum tells the stories of early Americans living in an agriculture-based economy. You can see an authentic log cabin that was typical for the region during the early years of our nation. The museum offers outstanding rotating exhibits and frequently features artwork depicting scenes of rural life on the Eastern Shore.
If you’re in town on a Saturday, hit up the Farmer’s Market & Flea located at the corner of 3rd and Market Streets. Stock up on delicious locally grown produce and find a treasure from the flea market. Open Saturdays May 14 – September, 9am – 12pm.
Spend some time shopping with a stop at Joviality (214 Market Street), a boutique with a fabulous selection of accessories, gifts, and home décor. Then head over to Patti’s Petals & Gifts (219 Market Street) for a special treat for your home or garden. The What’s New Shop (322 Market Street) offers a selection of religious supplies and books.
When you’re ready for lunch, head over to the Market Street Public House (200 Market Street). The Pub is a local favorite! The menu features excellent pub food with Irish flair. Enjoy a pint of The Pub’s own brew with your lunch.
An afternoon of local art can begin with a stop at Black Anchor Tattoo (211 Market Street), a shop widely recognized as a leader in the Traditional American style. In addition to skin art, drawings are available for purchase. From there, head up Market Street to The Foundry (401 Market Street). Before stepping through its doors, be sure to enjoy the public art project, The Musician and The Muse. Once inside, you will find the work of over 40 local artists in a variety of mediums including painting, pen & ink, glass & mosaics, and folk & decorative arts, among others.
After that, head down to the Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore (7 N Fourth Street). Rotating exhibits feature the work of quilt makers and other fiber artists from throughout the region. FACES has a regular schedule of classes on a variety of fiber arts at different skill levels, so check their calendar to see if there’s a class you’d like to join during your visit.
Directly across the street from FACES, you’ll find Jan Baker’s Fourth Street Gallery (12 N Fourth Street). Jan is a very talented artist whose gallery includes jewelry, paintings, and prints.
Wrap up your day with a cocktail at Harry’s On the Green (4 S First Street). Happy hour is available from 4 – 6 pm with fantastic small plate specials. Then stay for dinner and enjoy an outstanding fine dining menu prepared by Chef Jeri Wyre.
A & E Artists
Artists who produce and sell their work within Maryland’s A&E districts earn special incentives. We are actively working to recruit new artists to the Denton Artsway. If you’re an artist looking for a new place to work and call home, please contact us to discuss further. The following table includes artists currently working in the Denton Artsway.
Resources & Incentives
- Artwork produced and sold by qualifying residing artists in any Maryland A&E District is exempt from Maryland and local income tax. This includes work sold online and shipped from within the district.
- Admission & Amusement tax for live performances and other arts-related events that charge an admission fee may be waived in A&E Districts.
- Real property tax credits are available on the improvements made to properties for arts-related purposes. This includes new construction. See the section “For Property Owners” below for more details.
A “qualifying residing artist” is defined as an individual who:
- Owns or rents residential property in the County where the A&E District is located; and
- Conducts an arts or entertainment-related enterprise within the A&E District; and
- Derives income from the sale or performance of an artistic work within the A&E District (excluding adult entertainment) that the individual wrote, composed, or executed, either solely or with one or more other individuals.
An “arts or entertainment-related enterprise” is a for-profit or nonprofit entity dedicated to the visual or performing arts.
An “artistic work” means original and creative work, whether written or composed, or executed, that falls into one of the following categories:
- Book or other writing
- Play or the performance of a play
- Musical composition or performance of a musical composition
- Painting or other picture
- Traditional or fine crafts
- Creation of a film or acting in a film
- Creation of a dance or performance of a dance
“Artistic work” includes any product generated as a result of any of the categories listed above. An artistic work does not include any piece or performance created or executed for industry-oriented or industry-related production, such as a commercial or advertising copy.
If you’d like more information about incentives or a copy of the income tax credit or real property tax credit applications, please contact us via email or by phone at 410.479.1009.
Every business needs customers, and we have resources available to help market your business:
- Any arts-related event you host may be added to our events calendar. Please email us all details about your event and we will be happy to list it. We will also include your event in our e-newsletter and on social media.
- The Caroline Office of Tourism also maintains an events calendar. You may submit your event details via email [email@example.com] to the Tourism Office for additional exposure.
- The Office of Tourism offers free marketing support on a first come first served basis to Denton businesses, including artists. Services include writing and distributing press releases, logo design, and other graphic design.
- CCCA member artists may exhibit their work at The Foundry art gallery and may sell their work through The Foundry’s Etsy shop.
Whether you are launching a new business or growing one you’ve already established, Caroline Economic Development offers a variety of resources. Services include help in the following areas:
- Developing a business plan and applying for financing
- Developing a marketing plan for your business
- Compliance with local and state regulations
- Assistance completing applications for A&E District incentives
- Property search and site selection
Our vision is to create a thriving and vibrant downtown, and non-arts related businesses play a key role in that vision. By locating in the Denton Artsway, you will enjoy the benefits of the foot traffic that the arts attract. Your business is eligible to use most of the Marketing and Business Assistance listed above. To get started, please contact Caroline Economic Development via email or at 410.479.4188.
Real Property Tax Credits
Properties within the Denton Artsway are eligible for real property tax credits for improvements that are made to the property for arts-related enterprises. If you renovate a property or build new, you will receive a tax break applied to the town portion of your real property taxes for the increased assessed value of the property. This tax break applies to the portion of the project that includes an arts-related enterprise.
For example, let’s say you buy a two-story building and fully renovate it. The first floor will be used as studio and gallery space and the second floor will include apartments. In this case, 50% of the project is for an arts-related enterprise, so 50% of the increased assessed value of the property is eligible for the tax credit.
The state’s assessment office only reassesses property if at least $100,000 is spent on renovations and/or construction. Therefore, all projects must include at least this level of investment to be eligible for real property tax breaks. This is the amount that must be spent on the entire project, not just the arts-related portion.
The real property tax credit is applied for ten years according to the following schedule:
Years 1, 2, and 3
Years 4 and 5
Years 6 and 7
Years 8 and 9
*The amount by which the increased assessment of a property is reduced for the arts-related portion of the project. The reduction applies to real property taxes levied by the Town of Denton only.
If you would like more information or a copy of the application to qualify for real property tax credits, please contact CCCA via email or at 410.479.1009. Please note: An application for real property tax credits must be completed before your project begins.
CCCA is actively working to recruit new artists to live and work within the Denton Artsway. If you own a property that is available for sale or lease, we would be happy to include it in our online property listing (below) free of charge. Residential and commercial properties may be listed.
We would love to help you find your place in the Denton Artsway! The properties below are all located within the A&E District and are eligible for incentives. Listings include both residential and commercial properties.List Your Property Here for Free
Excellent location, Two story, charming Victorian house converted to bright office space.
Excellent location, two story, charming Victorian house available for gallery/retail/ office space. Unconventional, wide open first floor space. Second floor has 3 rooms/bedrooms. 1.5 baths. Southern exposure, lots of natural light. Ample off street parking, within short walking distance of downtown restaurants, library and shopping. Handicap access. Plenty of storage space in walk up attic. Can be used as residence/commercial space.
Available For Sale | $174,900
Large 18000 square foot building. Includes frontage on Market Street and Fourth street.
Has office and retail downstairs and additional offices upstairs. When fully rented building can bring in over $ 60,000 a year. Actually room on the Second floor for more offices. Each floor has two baths and a central hallway. Building also has doors in the front and back for fire escapes. Vinyl roof.
Available For Sale | $295,000