Jackie presents that Art of the Pop-Up during the first at Stamford Ignite. Watch the five minute overview on how to think about revitalizing downtowns with pop-ups and all sorts of different ideas.
NORWALK – Norwalk 2.0, a community and economic development organization is starting work on a project aimed at bringing people back to heart of Norwalk’s downtown. Linking the past with the future, the project received funding support from the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency (DECD Office of the Arts) as part of the Arts Catalyze Placemaking (ACP-3) Arts Leadership Implementation grant program. The grant amount was $65k.
The project, FACES of Norwalk, a mural arts trail, involves creating pop up art, cultural exhibits and events in vacant storefronts in addition to partnering with businesses in the area. Partners in the project include, Artists Duvian Montoya, Jahmane, the City of Norwalk, the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency, the Norwalk Public Library, the Norwalk Preservation Trust, the Norwalk Historical Society, the Norwalk Arts Commission and the Greater Norwalk Arts Council.
The project goal is to create a series of arts events and street exhibits that speak to the historic economic vibrancy of downtown Norwalk and catalyze an artistic hub within the district. Through an inaugural year of programming in addition to site specific history engagement, Norwalk 2.0 plans to include a series of pop-up arts and retail experiences that place creative expression into the heart of the district and help forge ties from the new businesses located in the retail area with the larger community and its historical roots.
For the past two years Norwalk 2.0 has laid the groundwork for the initiative by building a strong alliance between the Norwalk Preservation Trust, the Norwalk Historical Society and the Norwalk Historical Commission, the City of Norwalk and the property owners so that the story of Norwalk’s historic downtown industries and businesses are represented within context of a historic district. In 2009, the State of Connecticut formally recognized the area as a historic district.
Building on data compiled from the 2011 Norwalk Listens City-Wide Survey, Norwalk 2.0 identified a community desire to have more activities in the Norwalk Center area. The Norwalk Redevelopment Agency has been working with local developers to build new housing in the area, but for much of the past decade, various projects have been stalled.
“We see this an opportunity,” said co-founder Maribeth Becker, “to work with what we have and tap into the creative community in order to help create demand.”
Becker and co-founder Jackie Lightfield have created pop-up events and exhibits in South Norwalk to great acclaim.
“We had great success creating pop-up spaces in SoNo in partnership with great property owners” said Lightfield. “The Wall Street area is our historic downtown, and bringing our program to this area will help restore that vibrant downtown center.”
Norwalk 2.0 is part of a growing national movement that leverages technology to increase social
engagement in and participation in communities. Gov 2.0, Code for America and Startup America all focus
on delivering tech tools to local organizations and communities to enable better and more efficient ways
of making communities better.
Becker and Lightfield founded Norwalk 2.0 in the summer of 2010 to address needs in Norwalk after
extensive work as civic leaders.
Norwalk 2.0’s mission is to engage residents, businesses and community organizations to work together
and create an authentic, creative, economically diverse and sustainable future.
Lena Steinkühler New York Biotopes lovingly showcases NYC with abstract plants and creatures mutating before your eyes. Her film, a graduation project, was a reaction to, in her words, insufficient living space for plants and creatures. “These creatures and plants, partly mechanical, partly organically in appearance, spread more and more over the city and fill it up with life.” It’s a stunning film.
We were happy to report on the results of the Norwalk Listens Survey, and produced a music video to go along. For those that want to read a little data we’ve got you covered with a link here.
We’re creating art inspired Norwalk 2.0 t-shirts. If you are an artist (or play one on tv), know an artist or wanna be an artist, we are looking for creative interpretations about what Norwalk 2.0 is all about.
We will post renditions of our faves here and let the world vote on the winners. Then we create the shirts and they become a bonus gift for making a donation. All that, and nary a telethon on the horizon!
How to Play:
Fill out this form along with a jpg of your design and we’ll post ’em here. Your theme, what do we mean by “Be the Change” or what is Norwalk 2.0?
We continue our support of community conversations. Civility and the Press: A paneldiscussion on March 29 at Fat Cat Pie Co. Wine Room. Tickets are $20 and include wine of course. Is the press part of the problem or part of the solution. Hear from Froma Harrop, Jerrod Ferrari and Thomas Mellana and join in the discussion.