by: admin in Art Walk, Spotlight No Comments  

By Kristen Fields, DVI Intern

First-time Art Walk vendor, Bryan Collins, shared with us his favorite things about drawing and future plans for Bryan Collins Art & Illustration.

Q: What first brought you to participate in the First Wednesday Art Walk? unnamedHow long have you been a vendor? 

I first heard about Art Walk from patrons who found me at other art shows. I was encouraged to start exhibiting at Art Walk by Sabina Escalada, a fellow artist and Art Walk exhibitor. My first Art Walk participation was February 2016.

Q: What is your favorite thing about participating in Art Walk?  

I enjoy meeting art lovers and getting out of the studio. I am inspired by conversations I have with people who stop by my booth. I always leave feeling recharged and motivated to create new and better work.

Q: How/when did you become first interested in drawing?

Like most kids, I loved to draw and color, but it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I truly became obsessed with art. Drawing became a way to deal with the struggles of growing up.

Q: What is your favorite thing about drawing? 

Thoughts are secret and mysterious, but drawings are like maps of a person’s mind. You can tell so much about a person by what he or she creates. Art is a way to reach parts of the soul that are otherwise often ignored.oldsalt002

Q: What things inspire you to create your drawings? 

Music lyrics are a great source of inspiration for me. I see songs play out like movies in my head. I also love marine life and my guilty pleasure is video games. I sometimes make art based on all of those things; sometimes all of them at once.

Q: What are your other hobbies?

Other than the video games, I enjoy kayaking, fishing, being on the beach and spending time on my boat. I have an amazing, supportive family who does all of these things with me.

Q: What plans do you have for the future of Bryan Collins Art & Illustration? 

I have just started a clothing line called Shore Lore Apparel. All of the designs are hand drawn and we donate a portion of all proceeds to marine rehabilitation and conservancy. I plan on taking this line as far as it can go with the help and support of the people who wear and represent Shore Lore. As for my fine art pieces, I will keep pushing to make better, more emotional art and getting it out there however I can. sirensilver

Q: Do you have any good advice for emerging artists? 



Just don’t stop. Being an artist means wearing your heart on your sleeve, which can naturally cause a lot of heartbreak. Art is a roller coaster of emotion but that’s part of the experience. Don’t let obstacles, challenges and failures slow you down. Make thousands of pieces and roll with the punches. Remember your failures are opportunities to grow, so keep growing.

Interested in checking out what Bryan Collins Art & Illustration and other local artists have to offer? Be sure to check out the March 2 Art Walk from, 5-9 p.m. This month’s “Shamrockin’ Downtown” Art Walk has live music, performances, food truck village plus more! For full Art Walk details visit, www.iloveartwalk.com.

By Lindsay Forrest, DVI Intern

Photo Credit: Pavement to Parks

Photo Credit: Pavement to Parks

When I first heard the term “parklet” in a meeting, I was just as confused as you might be. What are these “parklets”? How can a pavement project enhance Jacksonville? How do they create cultural vibrancy in urban areas?

By definition, a parklet is an extension of the sidewalk – usually installed into parking lanes to make use of several parking spaces for a proposed project. In urban cities, we are continually seeing the introduction of parklets to increase metropolitan appeal, provide space, offer amenities and encourage outdoor activities. The purpose of these modern parks is to gather people for a place to sit, rest, eat, drink and enjoy themselves outside.

The first public parklet was created in San Francisco in 2010 and since then, many other cities including Phoenix, Philadelphia, Oakland, San Jose, Dallas and Seattle have created their own versions of these sidewalk parks. They typically have umbrellas, benches, tables, chairs and bike racks characterized by greenery, murals and innovative design. Not only do parklets offer amenities to local citizens, they also increase the vibrancy of the community and urban culture in a downtown atmosphere.

Photo Credit: Pavement to Parks

Photo Credit: Pavement to Parks

Benefits of parklets include:

  • Supporting local businesses
  • Encourage the use of sustainable transportation
  • Influence the atmosphere and ambiance
  • Offer a place for friends and families to gather
  • Enhance pedestrian safety and standards
  • Offer a place to eat, drink, read, study, and enjoy the environment

Check out the Pavement to Parks project created by San Francisco’s city agencies to get a better understanding of what they truly are. The city of San Francisco is the ultimate trailblazer in these modern, outdoor spaces. They recently installed a parklet outside of the Museum of Craft and Design. With many businesses and residences, the city has invested in creating a vibrant commercial district along the 3rd street corridor. This parklet utilizes metal and stout to provide benches that span the length of the parklet. Here are some examples:

Museum of Craft and Design

Photo Credit: Pavement to Parks

MUSUEM OF CRAFT AND DESIGN

Location: 2659 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Installed: October 2015

Designed by: Bionic Landscape Architecture

Hosted by: Museum of Craft and Design

 

 

 

********************************************************************************************************

Photo Credit: Pavement to Parks

Photo Credit: Pavement to Parks

REVEILLE COFFEE PARKLET

Location: 200 Columbus Ave St, San Francisco, CA 94133  show map

Installed: April 2014

Designed by: Cameron HellandSagan Piechota Architecture

Hosted by: Reveille Coffee Co

 

 

 

***********************************************************************************************************

Photo Credit: Pavement to Parklets

Photo Credit: Pavement to Parklets

COLUMBUS AVENUE PARKLET

Location: 423 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133  show map

Installed: October 2010

Designed by: Rebar Group

Hosted by: Caffe Greco

 

 

 

Looking for a way to support a local parklet program in #DTJax? Attend our Urban Oasis Gala on Saturday March 19, at 100 N. Laura. Celebrate #DTJax with cocktails, dining and dancing with live music from the Chris Thomas Band! Safari and khaki attire is highly encouraged. Purchase tickets here for $150 per person or learn more about sponsorships here. All proceeds from the Downtown Gala will benefit a local parklet program in #DTJax.

Photo Credit: Downtown Vision

Photo Credit: Downtown Vision

 

 

by: Admin in Weekly Update No Comments  
The following is this week’s issue of the “#DTJax Weekly Update” e-newsletter. To receive this in your email inbox each week, sign-up here.
 
***************************************************************************************

Instagram of the Week

 

 Photo by @alexjohnsonalex

i-1
Tag your Downtown photo #DTJax for a chance to be featured.

 
****************************************************************************************

Things To Do Downtown

 


****************************************************************************************

Stories From BlogDTJax.com

 Conference 1-2

****************************************************************************************

 

DVI Updates 

 

What’s Happening with One Spark This Year?: 
 
In the spirit of innovation and collaboration, One Spark is joining forces with community partners and will be comprised of two days, two events.

On Wednesday, April 6, we will celebrate Creators on the streets of Downtown Jacksonville with a First Wednesday Spark Walk from noon to 10 p.m.
Thursday, April 7, will be Creator Innovation Day which provides Creators and Entrepreneurs with information, tools and local resources to move ideas from concept to company.

The deadline to register as a Creator for First Wednesday Spark Walk is quickly approaching, so make sure to apply for free here.
SparkWalk_CreatorDeadline
March Art Walk Volunteers Needed:
 

It’s that time again and we have changed up our Art Walk Volunteer opportunities to suit your needs. March is Shamrockin’ Downtown and you’re in luck since you get FREE GREEN BEER (must be 21+ years old). Sign up today and give back at #DTJax’s First Wednesday Art Walk!

MARCH Social Media
Get Your Tickets for DTJax’s Urban Oasis Gala Today:

Tickets and sponsorships are going fast! You don’t want to miss this celebration of Downtown Jacksonville at DVI’s Urban Oasis Gala Saturday, March 19! Join us for a night of cocktails, local food and dancing – including live music by the Chris Thomas Band - silent auctions and MOSH animal encounters. This inaugural gala will benefit the Downtown Parklet Program to better activate and energize #DTJax. Safari and jungle attire is encouraged, so make sure to get your ticket today and join us on March 19at 100 North Laura from 6:00-10:30 p.m.! Register here.

Gala Invite_Eblast
We’d Love to Hear From You:

DVI Annual Report Available:
 
  Have you ever wondered, what exactly does DVI do in a year? Check out our latest Annual Report,    which highlights accomplishments and financial information for fiscal year 2014-2015.

 

by: Admin in Business Spotlights No Comments  
IMG_7613

Photo Credit: DVI

How does a 360 degree view of Downtown Jacksonville sound for a motivating and innovative day at the office? This is everyday for the folks at Gresham, Smith and Partners, an international architecture and engineering design firm that repeatedly ranks in the top 30 of architecture firms in the U.S., who recently moved their office to #DTJax at the top of the One Enterprise Center on Water Street. Prior to the big move, Gresham had been in a corporate office park for 18 years. We spoke with Senior Vice President Trevor Lee about the relocation and how working Downtown has been for him and his more than 40 employees.

Break Room 1

Photo Credit: Gresham, Smith & Partners

As Lee explained, the move was not accepted by all at first. The first time he pitched the idea he was shot down, but then came the price analysis. Not only would moving Downtown not increase rent, it would actually save the company enough money to help pay for the move and upgrade of the space which prompted approval of the move. From a ground level, suburban corporate office complex to a sky-top, panoramic view of Downtown Jacksonville and the St. Johns River, what an upgrade!

IMG_7601

Photo Credit: DVI

Corporate was not the only interest that was worried about moving Downtown, some employees were a little uneasy about the transition as well. Lee told us the story of one employee who had worked at Gresham for years. He, not unlike many people, had a preconceived notion of the Downtown living and work environment. What he did not take into account was just how special #DTJax is. Lee told us the employee “now gets to the office early to watch the sunrise” and feels more creative and happy at work than ever. With a view like this, can you blame him?

Photo Credit: Gresham, Smith and Partners

Photo Credit: Gresham, Smith and Partners

Lee and his employees are adjusting very well to Downtown, saying they even go for an office outing to Burrito Gallery trivia on Tuesday’s! Lee noted he especially likes the walkability and proximity of businesses and restaurants Downtown. Overall, office culture and creativity have increased and the company is integrating well into the City and even hosted an open house during February’s Art Walk!

We’re glad to have you in #DTJax, GS&P! Learn more about their beautiful work on their website or Facebook.

by: admin in Advocacy, Spotlight No Comments  

By Lindsay Forrest, DVI Intern

Since 1976, Black History Month has offered the world a chance to remember and honor African Americans who blazed new trails and ways of thinking, and who fought for equal rights no matter an individual’s race, ethnicity or gender. In honor of this month, #DTJax has highlighted some of the most influential African Americans that have impacted the Jacksonville community. Among the various leaders and activists, we have Asa Phillip Randolph, Clara and Eartha White and James Weldon Johnson.

Photo Credit: Black History 101

Photo Credit: Black History 101

****************************************************************************************************

Asa Phillip Randolph

Born on April 15, 1889, Asa Phillip Randolph was born in Crescent City, Florida and moved to Jacksonville with his wife in 1891. From his strong upbringing, Randolph learned that color was not an indication of a person’s character or behavior. A superior student in writing, acting, singing and reading – Randolph attended the Cookman Institute in East Jacksonville and become valedictorian of his graduating class. Randolph can be described as a person of many attributes, but he is most noted for his organizational abilities and leadership in labor unions. He was a socialist, union organizer and civil rights leader most known in the African American community for these contributions:

Photo Credit: New York World-Telegram & Sun

Photo Credit: New York World-Telegram & Sun

  • Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters – Randolph was the founder and president of the first primarily African American labor union organization called BSCP. He established the Fair Employment Practices Committee and ended racial segregation and discrimination within the military as the leader of this organization.
  • 1963 March on Washington – Known as the largest political rally for human rights in United States history where Martin Luther King Jr., gave his “I Have A Dream” speech in Washington, D.C., Randolph began planning and organizing this rally in December 1962.
  • “Freedom Budget” – a proposal written by Randolph that identified policies and programs to eliminate poverty within a ten year period. Although the budget was never fully passed, all minorities were given better access to schooling, unemployment compensation, social security benefits and better living conditions because of his hard work.

Clara and Eartha White

Known as American humanitarians, philanthropists and businesswomen who devoted their life earnings and time to help people in need. Both Clara and Eartha White’s social mission originated when they began feeding hungry people in her neighborhood on Clay St. in the 1880′s. After her mother passed, Eartha took over the former soup kitchen and turned it into a non-profit organization aimed at social services for all people in need. The Clara White Mission served as an arts and sewing center during the Great Depression, a rooming house for released prisoners and the homeless and a center for cooking, ceramics, and learning. Eartha White was also responsible for founding the Mercy Hospital; The Boy’s Improvement Club, a home for single mothers, an orphanage and adoption agency; and a halfway house for recovering alcoholics. Clara and Eartha White are two of the most generous social activists who dedicated each and every moment they had in order to help the local Jacksonville people.

Photo Credit: The Clara White Mission

Photo Credit: The Clara White Mission

The Clara White Mission still plays a large role in the Jacksonville community today – their  mission is to “reduce homelessness through advocacy, food, housing and vocational programs” in order to get as many people off the streets. In fact, CWM serves over 400 meals each day to people in need on 613 W. Ashley St. To find out more information, visit their website.

James Weldon Johnson

The son of Helen Louise Dillet and James Johnson, James Weldon Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1871. Johnson was an author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, achievied songwriter and civil rights leader. He is most noted for his executive secretary and leadership position at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – an organization that aimed to put a halt to racial hatred, to stop discrimination and to achieve equality for all people. He was also known for his poems, novels, and anthems regarding black culture during the Harlem Renaissance. He was also appointed by the Roosevelt Administration in 1906, as the US Consul of Puerto Cabello, Venezuela. Essentially, James Weldon Johnson was an extremely talented, driven and influential African American born in the heart of LaVilla Downtown.

jamesweldonBLOG

Photo Credit: The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville

Most recently in #DTJax, Lavilla has delegated the intersection of Houston and Lee Streets, as the “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” Park in honor of James Weldon Johnson and his birth site. The “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” anthem was written by Johnson and his brother John Rosamond and dubbed the “Black American National Anthem” in 1899. To learn more information about the park, check out this article.

The Ritz Theatre and Museum, described as a destination within the “Harlem of the South” area in 1929 where the people of LaVilla sought out entertainment and culture. Today, the reconstructed museum offers music concerts, exhibitions and lectures to represent the rich history of this community in #DTJax. Check out the website to learn more and book your tickets here.

Looking for a way to celebrate Black History Month? Attend the Ritz Chamber Players concert series on February 24 at the Hicks Auditorium on 303 Laura St. The spring concert kicks off with the first song as “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” and ends on a piano trio. For more information or to reserve your seats check here.

To find out more information and facts about Black History Month in Jacksonville, check out this article.

 

 

by: Admin in Weekly Update No Comments  
The following is this week’s issue of the “#DTJax Weekly Update” e-newsletter. To receive this in your email inbox each week, sign-up here.

***************************************************************************************

Instagram of the Week

 

 Photo by @kickitwitkeoni

i-1 copy 2
Tag your Downtown photo #DTJax for a chance to be featured.

 
****************************************************************************************

Things To Do Downtown

****************************************************************************************

Stories From BlogDTJax.com

 unnamed copy 5

****************************************************************************************

 

DVI Updates 

 

One Spark 2016 Update:
 
Announced at the Feb. 15 press conference, DVI and One Spark will host a Creator Showcase at the April 6 Art Walk featuring local artists, creators, performers and more. First Wednesday Spark Walk will have extended hours from noon till 10 p.m. and will span from Hemming Park to the Jacksonville Landing. The following day, April 7, will be Creator Innovation Day – a full day conference at the Hyatt Regency. Speakers, workshops, networking, pitching and a hackathon, all designed to help our local innovation ecosystem. Check here for more information and how to apply and register for Spark Walk and Creator Innovation Day.
One Spark Partner Messaging_2
DTJax’s Urban Oasis, March 19:
 
Come and celebrate Downtown at DVI’s Urban Oasis Gala Saturday, March 19, 2016! There will be cocktails, dining and dancing – with live music by the Chris Thomas Band – silent auctions and animal encounters by MOSH all leading up to the Downtown awards. All proceeds from the gala will benefit the Downtown Parklet Program. Khaki and safari attire encouraged. The gala will last from 6:00-10:30 p.m. and take place at 100 North Laura, 9th Floor, 100 N. Laura Street. Buy your tickets and sponsorships today.
 
We’d Love to Hear From You:

DVI Annual Report Available:
 
  Have you ever wondered, what exactly does DVI do in a year? Check out our latest Annual Report,    which highlights accomplishments and financial information for fiscal year 2014-2015.

 

by: Admin in Events No Comments  

The American Cancer Society provides hope to those battling cancer and one of their most known events, Relay for Life, is coming to Downtown Jacksonville, April 28. We discussed all things Relay-related with Senior Community Manager, Cheyenne Overby and got the scoop on what you should know about the organization and this event.

All Photo Credit: American Cancer Society

All Photo Credit: American Cancer Society

Q: Can you tell us a little about the American Cancer Society and what the functions of the organization are?

The American Cancer Society is working relentlessly towards a world with more birthdays and less cancer. We are helping people stay well, helping people get well, finding cures and fighting back.

Q: And a little more specifically, what about Relay For Life?

As I mentioned, Relay For Life is the largest nonprofit fundraiser in the world. Since it began in 1985, it has raised more than $5 billion globally. Relay For Life is a family-friendly walk that raises awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society. Each event is organized by community volunteers and gives us the opportunity to celebrate all of our cancer Survivors, remember all of those we’ve lost and fight back against this disease. Different groups – churches, schools, businesses, family, friends, etc. – form teams and one person from each team walks around a track during the event to symbolize that the fight against cancer is continuous.

Q: Relay For Life is coming Downtown soon, how has planning and organizing been?

All Photo Credit: American Cancer Society

All Photo Credit: American Cancer Society

It has been so exciting! We are really looking forward to moving the Relay For Life of Metro Jacksonville to Hemming Park for the first time. We realized we haven’t done a very good job of giving our corporate community a place to Relay and we wanted to change that. The Leadership Team has been working very hard and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Unfortunately, we’ve all been affected by cancer in some way – whether personally, through our families or through someone we know. We’re excited to see the power of a community wanting to make a difference come together in the fight against cancer.

Q: What do you think Relay For Life does to help a community?

You know, we often talk about the power of one person. Relay For Life was started by one man – Dr. Gordy Klatt. When each one person decides to get involved with their local Relay For Life, one becomes two and two becomes 20. In 2014, Relay For Life had more than four million participants. Four million. But each of those four million started with just one.

Relay For Life brings all of these “ones” together. Relay For Life allows a community to take up the fight and gives everyone an opportunity to have a piece in it. I’ve had so many volunteers express how impactful it has been for them to have an outlet to actually do something to help. To be able to tell their friends and family that they are fighting back. It connects all of the “ones” to each other.

Q: What is your favorite part of the Relay For Life event?

579336_522441274519283_263739333_n

All Photo Credit: American Cancer Society

Easiest question ever. The Luminaria Ceremony. This is a Ceremony where we bring down the lights and our Luminaria bags are lit in honor or in memory of loved ones. It really gives you the opportunity to reflect about WHY Relay For Life is so important and WHY we are even here, all together, fighting the same fight. It is so impactful and powerful and I look forward to it at every single event. It’ll send chills down your spine just thinking about it.

 

Q: How can people get involved, find out more information, volunteer or fundraise for the upcoming Relay For Life event?

There are a lot of ways to be involved – joining the Leadership Team, creating your own team (with friends, family, your company, church, school, etc.), joining a team, registering as a survivor and/or caregiver and joining in the festivities that go along with celebrating you, helping us bring more survivors and caregivers to our event, host a fundraiser and the list goes on and on! For anyone interested in more information, they can contact me directly at cheyenne.overby@cancer.org, check our website or look at our Facebook page.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I really want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to talk about Relay For Life and thank the corporate community for embracing Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society. The work we do is so important – it can save someone’s life. And, we couldn’t do it without our volunteers and without the passion, dedication and inspiration they bring to us. We hope to continue to grow and continue to spread our mission and serve our communities. Relay isn’t all we do, but all we do depends on Relay.

unnamed

All Photo Credit: American Cancer Society

Thank you to Cheyenne and the whole team at the American Cancer Society. We are lucky and excited to have a Relay in #DTJax so go register your team today and we’ll see you April 28 in Hemming Park for Relay for Life!