To view online go to: http://visitmaryland.org/Newsletter/Insights/12.03.08/index.html

Gov. Martin O'Malley was at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., Nov. 19, where President Bush spoke at a dedication ceremony of the restored Star-Spangled Banner – the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the National Anthem – now on display in a new museum exhibit. (White House photo by Eric Draper)

State Hosts Digital Media Roundtable

About three dozen representatives from Maryland's creative economy met November 24 at UMBC to take stock of an evolving industry in the state – digital, entertainment and emerging media. Hosted by Tourism, Film and the Arts (TFA) and the University's Imaging Research Center, the roundtable convened different sectors of the industry to discuss opportunities to strengthen businesses, workforce and communication.

Hannah Byron, assistant secretary for TFA, welcomed the participants as a prelude to an open discussion regarding the status and future of new media in Maryland. The group addressed the roles of the state, education and the private-sector that comprise the sectors of this digitally-driven industry.

"It allowed us to begin to take inventory of the many components of this evolving entertainment industry," said Jack Gerbes, director of the Maryland Film Office. "One of the especially valuable aspects of the meeting was the networking that took place. People in education, gaming, studio and audio recording, e-commerce, web design and economic development had an opportunity to meet r and begin discussing how they could collaborate."

UMBC president Freeman A. Hrabowski addressed the group. The university’s Imaging Research Center, which was established 21 years ago, investigates new technologies and strategies in the use of digital media.

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Annapolitan Encourages Performance Measures

"Many people think that because Maryland is such a great destination, visitors will just come," says Connie Del Signore, president and CEO of the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau (AAACCVB).

"That's not the way it works," she says. "Look at McDonalds, look at Pepsi – they spend millions to market their products." Del Signore says she's optimistic that Maryland's tourism industry will have more dollars to spend for marketing when the state makes its allocations for fiscal year 2011.

She expects the provisions of the Tourism Promotion Act of 2008 will kick in with increased funding. The new law ties the level of state funding for marketing Maryland tourism to tax revenue generated by retail sales of tourism-related goods and services.

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OTD Promotes Holiday Events

Maryland's many seasonal events are being promoted online and through the Maryland Minute, a weekly radio station promotion in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore media markets. The ads feature state events and encourage listeners to take a minute to enjoy the holidays by shopping at Maryland Main Streets or Arts and Entertainment Districts, attending seasonal celebrations or spending time with friends and family at area attractions. For a complete list of events, check the Tourism Office's web site.

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MSAC Grant Deadlines:

ARTVantage grant, Jan. 8
Arts in Communities grant, Jan. 21
Capital Region Performing Arts Touring grant, Feb. 20

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