The mission of the Bethesda Urban Partnership is to create an environment in which downtown businesses and residents can thrive and prosper.
FROM 2019/2020 BOARD CHAIR DEBORAH MICHAELS
I am honored to have been chosen by the Bethesda Urban Partnership’s Board of Directors to chair the organization during the current fiscal year. It will be a significant year for us as we celebrate our 25th anniversary of managing downtown Bethesda as well as welcome a new Executive Director, Jeff Burton.
As a local resident, I truly appreciate the amenities including Bethesda’s walkability, local shops and restaurants, vibrant arts scene and more that make downtown Bethesda a desirable location for residents, visitors and local businesses.
Bethesda is one of the most prominent communities in our region and has received national recognition as an ideal setting to live, work and play. Our goal at the Bethesda Urban Partnership is to ensure the downtown is a place to enjoy, is well maintained and has a strong sense of community.
As Chair of the organization, I want to thank our partners, Board of Directors and staff who all work towards the common goal of creating positive experience in our downtown for visitors, employees, residents, artists, local business owners and more. Downtown Bethesda is undergoing many changes with new development, new leadership and new residents moving into our downtown. We welcome these opportunities and look forward to a successful year ahead..
Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc.
Operations & Funding
Established by Montgomery County in 1994, Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc. (BUP) is a downtown management organization that maintains and markets downtown Bethesda. The organization was developed to promote downtown Bethesda as a desirable place to live, work and visit as well as foster a community that features restaurants, retailers, arts venues and more.
The BUP team includes more than 35 employees working in marketing, maintenance, transportation and administration who produce cultural events and community festivals and attend to landscaping and maintenance needs. BUP also manages Bethesda Transportation Solutions (BTS), the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, and the Bethesda Circulator as well as the non-profit art spaces, Gallery B and Studio B.
BUP is operated by an 11-member Board of Directors comprising residents, businesses and developers appointed by the County Executive. The organization is funded primarily by revenue generated from the Bethesda Parking Lot District fees, in addition to the commercial Urban District property tax. Private sponsors partner with BUP on events such as Taste of Bethesda and the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival.
Bethesda’s sidewalks, streets and flowerbeds are meticulously maintained by the 14-person BUP maintenance team. Throughout the week the team manages trash removal, cleans and repairs streets, trims trees, maintains 188,000 square feet of turf and more.
Throughout the year the team plants 32,000 flowers, landscaping the flowerbeds and large sidewalk pots with seasonal blooms. The dedicated team is also on site at the festivals and events throughout the year. They assist in setting up and unloading supplies as well as keeping the event site clean and safe. They provide on-site emergency assistance and help to breakdown the events, tidying the area and reopening streets. In addition to their help at events, the crew looks after maintenance needs at Gallery B and Studio B, BUP’s nonprofit art exhibit and studio space. The team is certified in First Aid, CPR and AED.
BUP’s marketing team creates year-round community events, produces free guides that detail Bethesda’s restaurant, retail, home fashion and arts organizations and operates downtown Bethesda’s Web site, www.bethesda.org. The efforts of BUP’s marketing team target downtown Bethesda’s residents, tourists, visitors and employees. The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is also managed by BUP’s marketing team. BUP's marketing team is the producer of Imagination Bethesda, Taste of Bethesda, a free Summer Concert Series, Yappy Hour, Winter Wonderland and Bethesda Outdoor Movies: Stars on the Avenue. To stay up to date on all of the Bethesda Urban Partnership's events and amenities, please join the BUP email list.
Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District
The state of Maryland designated downtown Bethesda as an Arts & Entertainment District effective July 1, 2002. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is comprised of a 12-member Board of Directors as well as an advisory committee of local artists and arts businesses representatives. The mission of the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is to create and implement arts and entertainment projects that contribute to the artistic, cultural and economic growth of downtown Bethesda. Special tax incentives are in place that will benefit artists, arts enterprises and developers that are located within the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District. The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is the producer of the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards, the Bethesda Painting Awards, the Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards, Play In A Day, "Paint the Town," and manages Gallery B and Studio B. Bethesda Transportation Solutions Bethesda Transportation Solutions helps manage the traffic in downtown Bethesda by marketing local, state and federal commuter benefits programs and tax incentives to employers. BTS promotes alternative transportation such as rail, bus, carpools and biking with the goal of reducing the number of Bethesda employees who drive alone to work.
Bethesda Transportation Solutions helps manage the traffic in downtown Bethesda by marketing local, state and federal commuter benefits programs and tax incentives to employers. BTS promotes alternative transportation such as rail, bus, carpools and biking with the goal of reducing the number of Bethesda employees who drive alone to work.