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Keys To Frederick - Frederick Arts Counc
By: Craig Shipp

Update: 11/1/07 - The Keys have been auctioned off and $38,000 was raised for the Frederick arts community!

Fall 07 - A walk around the historic district of the City of Frederick, Maryland is always fun and educational but this fall (2007) many five-foot tall keys that are each a unique work-of-art are making things even more interesting. For one thing since maps to the locations of the keys are available at various downtown shops avid walkers can go on a treasure hunt of sorts but this time they are seeking out beautiful works of art.

Maybe even more beautiful than the actual keys is the fact that after the display period is over they will be auctioned off to raise money for charity.

For those who are unable to walk you can contact City Cab at 301-662-2250 and they would be happy to bring you on a tour of the Keys To Frederick. If you’re out of the area and can’t get to Frederick County to see the keys in person we have included links to photos of the keys below as well as video clips (high-speed Internet and flash player required).

Click Here for a photo slide show of the Keys!
Click Here for the same photos in a set - download originals.

Video clips below require high-speed Internet and flash player:

for more details or call 301-662-4190.

City Cab Frederick Video Channel:

From the Frederick Arts Council website:

On August 17th, the 30 fiberglass old-fashioned door keys will make their public debut as part of Art in the Park night at Harry Grove Stadium. Within a few days thereafter, they will begin hitting the streets of Frederick for public display. The Frederick Arts Council is organizing this massive public art project in honor of its 30th anniversary of promoting, supporting, and advocating the arts. Keys were chosen as the icon because of Frederick’s, and the region’s connection to Francis Scott Key, the author of The Star Spangled Banner.

Officially, the six foot tall fiberglass keys will start making their on the streets on August 22nd.  They are expected to stay out until the end of October.  The artwork will primarily be located within the Arts and Entertainment District.  Frederick is one of 14 officially-designated Arts and Entertainment Districts by the State of Maryland.

The 30 participating artists have been selected.  However, 6 of the 30 keys are still needing sponsors.  For $3,000 companies and other entities can affiliate their marketing efforts with this highly visible event.  


Frederick is already becoming known as an arts destination and this project will strengthen the case according to Frederick Arts Council Executive Director Shuan Butcher.  Other benefits of a public art project such as this includes:


q       Celebrating the important role arts play in the economic vitality of the City as well as our history; and

q       Building a sense of community pride and spirit, thereby contributing to the quality of life and unique character of our beautiful City; and

q       Uniting and engaging a diverse sector of the City’s population, including the artistic community, local schools, area businesses, and others; and

q       Substantially increasing tourism to the region and attracting many visitors during its tenure.

As suggested above, statistics demonstrate the important impact a public art project has on tourism and the economy.  Here are three case studies:


Cincinnati Pig Gig: According to a University of Cincinnati study of the event’s economic impact, approximately 968,000 people attended Greater Cincinnati’s Big Pig Gig in 2001, 462,000 of whom were out-of-towners. These tourists spent $59.4 million in area stores, restaurants, hotels, and gas stations- not a bad return on the $1.2 million direct cost of the event. The study concluded that out-of-towners stayed an average of three days in Cincinnati, and spent $130 per person.

Chicago Cows on Parade: This world-renowned temporary public art installation brought an estimated additional 2 million visitors to the city. During the three-month exhibit, these tourists spent approximately $500 million on hotels, food, and sightseeing. One store in Chicago reported a $40,000 profit over its weekly projections due to thousands of additional customers generated by the exhibit. Other retail shops, restaurants, and hotels reported a 20% increase in sales.

New York City
’s Cow Parade: The benefits to New York of the Cow Parade included a boost in tourism by 3-4 million visitors, generating an additional $1 billion in revenues for local businesses. New York raised $1,351,000 at the Charity Auction to support the work of dozens of New York-based charities. The average cow sold for $18,250; the largest bid was for $60,000.For more information on the Keys to Frederick project, visit or call 301-662-4190.
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Keys To Frederick - Frederick Arts Counc
By: Craig Shipp
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