BALTIMORE, MD-The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded Creative Alliance, a nonprofit arts organization, a $750,000 grant to transform the shuttered Patterson Movie Theater into the Patterson Center for the Arts. A formal announcement of the grant is expected on Jan. 2.

Creative Alliance has been planning the restoration of the Highland commercial district site since 1998. Now that the funds are in place, the arts center is aiming to finish the project in 2003, and will start construction by winter’s end in 2002. Upon completion, the 2-story, 71-year old structure will house a 2,000-sf gallery, a theater, residential artist studios, classrooms, as well the ubiquitous gathering place for artists, a café. The redeveloment is expected to cost $3.1 million.

The project is also getting financial assistance from a state grant for Highlandtown revitalization. Speaking to the Baltimore Sun this week, Creative Alliance Executive Director Margaret Footner explains that the project “is part of a revitalization effort that recognizes art as a key engine for stimulating redevelopment in Highlandtown.”

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