Tony Allegretti launched DVI’s First Wednesday Art Walk in November 2003 with less than 10 venues. “I remember there was a DVI board meeting on the day of the first ever Art Walk,” remembers Allegretti, the Director of Downtown Development for JAX Chamber today. “Jim Bailey asked me how many people I thought would show up. I remember saying that I hoped for 200. Back then we had eight venues and it was tough to get that.” Read Allegretti’s Art Walk Memoirs here.
Over the years the First Wednesday Art Walk has captured the community’s imagination and grown into a favorite event for artists and art lovers alike. DVI has cultivated enduring partnerships to create special annual events like “Pet Walk” Art Walk with the Florida Theatre, Jaguars-themed Art Walks with the Jacksovnille Jaguars, “Hispanic Heritage” Art Walk with Eco Latino and “Movember” Art Walk with Movember Jax. In 2010, DVI partnered with the Cultural Council to create the Off the Grid initiative, which infused Art Walk–and Downtown–with galleries and artist spaces. Today DVI secures participation from more than 40 venues a month, programs an average of 70 artists in Hemming Plaza and has created a food truck village at the corner of Forsyth and Main streets. The First Wednesday Art Walk accounts for more than 400,000 visits to Downtown over the past eight years.
As we approach 2013, we’re asking for everyone to take the 2012 Art Walk feedback survey and share ideas to make Art Walk fresh. In the meantime, we thought we’d share some memories along the way. We hope you’ll enjoy this small collection of videos and photos.
(Featuring DVI’s own Jennifer Hewett-Apperson)
Stay tuned for a new Art Walk video coming soon from the Downtown Marketing Collaborative.