Cities are cauldrons of creativity. They have long been the vehicles for mobilizing, concentrating and channeling human creative energy. They turn that energy into technical and artistic innovations, new forms of commerce and new industries, and evolving paradigms of community and civilization.”  – Richard Florida, “Cities and the Creative Class”



Pitchcraft: a placemaking competition for Downtown Frederick

October 24, 2019, 6-9PM @ New Spire Stages, 15 W Patrick St


Pitchcraft 2019, Downtown Frederick’s second annual placemaking competition, invited creative people from every background, profession and city to pitch an idea that, if physically implemented in Downtown Frederick, will better connect the people and places of our community. Stay tuned for details on Pitchcraft 2020.

  • Pitch entry deadline was August 25, 2019. A panel of judges reviewed all submissions and have narrowed it down to the final four, who pitched their ideas in front of a live audience on Thursday, October 24, 2019 at New Spire Stages, 15 W Patrick St.
  • Every audience member voted for their favorite pitch and Frederick Photo Ops was announced as the winning project that evening! After the event, Homegrown Frederick announced that they will provide funding for a second project: Flower Downtown Frederick. The cost of each ticket goes directly toward funding the winning idea.
  • In addition to an award of funds, the winning person receives guidance from Downtown Frederick Partnership and volunteer advisers to help implement their idea.

The Final Four


After receiving fifteen inspired, creative, unique placemaking ideas from people who love the Downtown Frederick community, our Pitchcraft Selection Committee was tasked with the difficult job of narrowing the pot down to four finalists. These finalists presented their ideas live, on-stage during the October 24 Pitchcraft event. Our four three finalists, listed in no particular order…


Carroll Creek Piano Staircase

  • Update: Due to a family emergency, the person who pitched this project is unfortunately unable to attend Pitchcraft so this project has been removed from the list of possible contenders.
  • Painting a piano on park steps

Music on Market

  • Put pianos on the street during the holiday season
  • Pitched by: Jay Harkcom

Flower Downtown Frederick

  • Mural project featuring local flowers
  • Pitched by: Kathy Lynn
  • Update: Following the Pitchcraft event, Homegrown Frederick announced that they will fund this project!

Frederick Photo Ops

  • Large scale model of the word Frederick
  • Pitched by: Melissa Muntz & Becky Bickerton
  • Selected as the winning idea for 2019!

Watch the video below to see our first Pitchcraft competition, held October 2018 at the Union Knitting Mills building in Downtown Frederick.

The 2018 competition showcased four ideas, pitched by members of the Frederick community. The winning idea, Frederick Bike Racks in ASL, was pitched by Chanel Gleicher and Tiffany Saccente. Shortly after announcing our first winner, Sue Hough stood from the audience and offered to fund a second project, The Joy of Music, which was pitched by Kathaleen Lucey. Then, shortly following the event, an anonymous donor was so inspired by the community’s creativity that they funded a third project, Candylane, which was pitched by Patsy Dahlheimer and Marie Silverstrim. For an update on these projects, read more here.


What is placemaking? Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community.

Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value.

More than just promoting better urban design, placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution. Flip through the photos below for a few examples of placemaking projects in various communities.

Examples of Placemaking

Murals + ArtThe Possibility of PaintPlaces to RestAlleyway ArtAn Unexpected SurprisePublic Infrastructure

Submit your Idea

  • Pitch submission deadline: August 25, 2019.
  • All expertise levels are encouraged to enter, from total novice to professional.
  • Your idea must thematically support the idea of CONNECTING the people and places of Downtown Frederick.
  • Your idea should have a scope that can be implemented for approximately $3,500 and finished by October 2020. The finished product should be something that is safe for all ages, functions unattended, exists within the footprint of Downtown Frederick (map here) and is feasible to implement.
  • Any necessary permits must be applied for by the winner and approved by the City prior to project implementation.
  • Submissions will be narrowed down by a panel of judges to four finalists. All finalists will pitch their ideas in front of a live audience on Thursday, October 24. The winner will be selected by audience vote and announced that night. Download full contest rules here.
  • Please go ahead and buy a ticket! If you are one of the four finalists, the cost of your ticket will be returned to you.

Attend the Event

  • Thursday, October 24 from 6:00-9:00pm at New Spire Stages, 15 W Patrick St. Doors open at 6:00pm. Mingling from 6:00-7:00pm. Pitches and voting from 7:00-8:00pm. Winners announced live at 8:10pm and the venue remains open until 9:00pm.
  • Pitchcraft is a casual evening featuring local food and celebration.
  • Attendees will hear four three pitches for creative placemaking ideas to be implemented in Downtown Frederick and will vote on their favorite idea.
  • The cost of your $20 ticket goes directly toward funding the idea that receives the most votes. The winner will be announced that evening.
  • Event parking is available in the Court Street Public Parking Garage at 2 S Court St. For additional parking and travel information in Downtown Frederick, visit
  • If you or anyone in your party requires either an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter and / or wheelchair seating, please indicate this when ordering your ticket online online.

Pitchcraft is presented by Downtown Frederick Partnership with support from the following community partners.

  • Jim & Carmen Schmersahl

Each year, the Partnership tackles strategic initiatives to bring more residents and employees to Downtown Frederick, offers an exciting season of events and works closely with downtown businesses and partners to continue to strengthen and improve Downtown Frederick.