2020-2021 Bethesda UP Annual Report
The mission of the Bethesda Urban Partnership is to create an environment in which downtown businesses and residents can thrive and prosper.
FROM 2021/2022 BOARD CHAIR JANE FAIRWEATHER
I am honored to be selected as Chair of the Bethesda Urban Partnership Board of Directors, an organization I have had the immense pleasure of being part of for many years. As I assume the position for the July 2021 - June 2022 term, I would be remiss to not both thank and commend our community for its resiliency. In the face of the global pandemic, the committed BUP team, Board of Directors, Bethesda business owners and residents continued to shine a light on our downtown by serving and supporting each other.
As a team we are dedicated to promoting Bethesda’s terrific amenities, while also supporting and helping our local businesses as we recover and emerge stronger. The people, well-manicured streetscapes, unique restaurants, favorite retailers, arts venues and more, in addition to the superb location in the Greater Washington, D.C. area, continue to make Bethesda the ideal location to live, work, play and do business.
The future continues to look bright as development projects progress and new businesses and residences open. Maizon Bethesda, The Elm, The Edge and 8300 Woodmont are all exciting, new apartment complexes that are open and welcoming new residents. The Marriott Headquarters project is also making great strides and is on track to be completed in summer 2022.
Bethesda’s culturally rich community, designated as a Maryland Arts & Entertainment District, is one of the many reasons developers, employees and residents seek out our downtown. I am pleased to also serve as Co-Chair of the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District Board which works with BUP to further enrich the arts. We have continued to brighten our cityscape with murals. Thanks to the support of both county and corporate partners, the fourth “Paint the Town” Mural was completed on the Rugby/Woodmont Ave. garage in 2020, and we look forward to the next mural project which is now in the works. We will also continue to highlight the arts with long-standing programs including the Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards, Bethesda Film Fest, The Trawick Prize and more.
The downtown is constantly growing and changing, so while we successfully navigated through uncertain times, we continue to look ahead. BUP’s new branding campaign reflects that forward-thinking mindset. Thank you to the Board Branding Committee that worked together to select BUP’s new look.
I am grateful to have the privilege of working alongside the BUP team and my Board colleagues as we continue to maintain, support and promote all that Bethesda has to offer. As Chair, I look forward to another successful year working to ensure that Bethesda is one of the premier downtowns in our region.
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, Studio B and Triangle Art Studios. 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.