SNOW HILL – An expansion of the popular Arts and Times publication to the online market has earned the Worcester County Tourism Department and Moonshell Productions an award from the Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Council (LESHC).
“This is the second time we’ve won this,” County Tourism Director Lisa Challenger told the Worcester County Commissioners at this week’s, referring to the Best New Heritage Initiative Award the Artsandtimes.org website received.
The previous award Challenger mentioned had been for the print version of Arts and Times, which has been in production for several years.
“We’ve been doing the calendar since 2005,” said Challenger.
In a memo Challenger presented to the commission, the goals and strategies of Arts and Times were outlined for the legislators.
“Our objective… [is] to support wider participation, support, and revenues for cultural outlets in the Tri-County area of Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore,” read the memo.
Challenger explained that Arts and Times accomplishes this goal by featuring new, local artists and art events in an effort to generate interest in Worcester County and the surrounding areas.
In the memo given to the commission, it is mentioned that the LESHC management plan is to “preserve our heritage and find ways to enjoy our rich, cultural traditions…scenic beauty…natural resources, and our wealth of history.”
Challenger explained that Artsandtimes.org and its sister print publication meet that management plan by promoting local art and encouraging a “shop local” mentality. She went on to say that the revenue generated by the arts was considerably more than most people expected.
“Over $56 million in expenditures is attributed to the arts annually on the lower shore and [it] is responsible for creating 734 jobs,” Challenger said.
Challenger admitted that those jobs and revenue were spread out along the lower Eastern Shore, not just Worcester, but still contributed significantly to the economy.
“You are responsible for funding this,” she told the commission, explaining that Arts and Times couldn’t have been so successful without the support of the county.
“It’s a great publication,” responded Commission President Bud Church, congratulating Challenger and the others involved with winning the LESHC award.