Eastside Urban Renewal
Eastside Urban Renewal
Bringing hope and renewal to the underserved East Jacksonville community is our main
focus at this time. Demographic data reveal Jacksonville’s Eastside to be ground zero for
neglect, high crime rates, unemployment, underemployment and health concerns for many
years. Its low-income population of 17,000 residents consists of approximately equal
numbers of men and women, among whom 80 percent are African American and 17
percent are Caucasian. Thirty-three percent of the population lives below the poverty line,
and 90 percent hold a high school degree or less. The Eastside is listed by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency as a brownfield because of 18 large-scale contamination
sites in the community.
Our goal is to create opportunities that will encourage residents, businesses and private
individuals to invest and reinvest in the Eastside’s urban renewal. We seek to improve the
character of our neighborhood and to restore a sense of pride among residents.
the role of creative placemaking
Creative placemaking is about getting artists and designers, community culture groups, arts research groups, cultural affairs offices, and arts organizations out of their silos and into the neighborhoods and regions around them. It is the strategy we are pursuing to reach our goal to renew and restore East Jacksonville through the arts.
We are currently working with partner organizations and seeking funding to enhance the quality of life in East Jacksonville through Creative Placemaking projects.
Our initial project, for which we are seeking funding, is intended to transform the Eastside by improving lighting and painting a mural called “Valley of the Kings” on the underpass separating the Eastside from the entertainment district in Jacksonville. We are also partnering with arts program in our local schools to create a “Welcome to East Jacksonville” sculpture that displays our community pride and cultural heritage.
Our intention is to develop further mural projects to infuse art and design along the major intersections, business corridors and blighted buildings so that they because prized community assets. Through these efforts, we seek to restore hope among residents, encourage restoration of homes and buildings and attract new business in the area.
Creative Learning Exchange
Creative enrichment of the whole self
We offer substantive art experiences during non school hours to youth in our underserved community. Professional Artists work directly with youth and participants to develop artistic skills and knowledge while creating and performing their own works. Built around youth interests and needs our programs support arts learning while employing positive youth development skills.