Downtown Inc Announces Welcoming Communities Grant Recipients
$15K Awarded to Events and Programs in Downtown York
(April 26– York, PA) – Downtown Inc is pleased to announce the 2023 Welcoming Communities Grant Recipients, all of whom will host sustainable community events or programs that contribute to creating a welcoming and connected community for all in York City through diversity, accessibility and cultural representation.
The Welcoming Communities Grants Program is administered by Downtown Inc and is made possible through the financial support of Better York, Powder Mill Foundation, and the York County Community Foundation. “Creating a welcoming community in Downtown York is vital to residents and visitors alike,” shared Jonathan Desmarais, Director of Downtown Inc. “Now in its fourth year, we received more and more applicants providing creative ways to make Downtown York a welcoming place for all. We are grateful to our external community partners who reviewed the letters, met with different event organizers, and ultimately chose 11 exceptional events and programs to be funded.”
Awarded in partnership with the Cultural Alliance of York County, Rita Whitney, Director of Engagement for the Cultural Alliance of York County, shares, “York City is filled with caring citizens who put a lot of time and energy into creating impactful community events. It has been our privilege to get to know these event organizers and offer them support through Downtown Inc’s Welcoming Communities Grant process.”
A total of $15,000 in grant funds were allocated to 11 different organizations/individuals:
- Spanish Language Tour, developed by the York County History Center- To improve the accessibility of sites, funds will be used to create a Spanish language tour script, available through printed materials as well as an audio tour to better serve diverse communities, and empowerment through the exploration of history.
- Annual Birthday Party, hosted by Keystone Kidspace– This free, daytime event for families presents all of Keystone Kidspace’s greatest hits in a bonkers party atmosphere that wows guests.
- First Friday All Ages Band Showcase, hosted by Skid Row Garage- Skid Row Garage has always strived to bring in bands whose members reflect our community. Young people drive almost every social movement and are some of the most creative artists in a community. Those musicians who are under 21 are missing out on the opportunity to play on a stage with a professional sound system in front of a crowd, and this event will reconcile that.
- Immersive Mental Health Exhibit, hosted by The Parliament Arts Organization- The goal of the event is to increase awareness about mental illness which affects 1 in 4 people; over 50 million people in the United States alone. Designed not only to increase awareness, but to build a bridge of understanding about what it is like to live with specific mental illnesses. The hope is that through this bridge comes acceptance and compassion and helps to end the stigma that many people feel who live with mental illness.
- IM Downtown York Community Chalk Wall, hosted by Insatiable Melanin – “IM Downtown York” is a massive chalkboard wall that would go up in Downtown York’s most populated areas. This is an inclusive community-based “feel-good” project, that incorporates both members of the community as well as inviting people from outside the region to get a feel for the strength, love, aspirations, and art of York. This community engagement project gives the residents and anyone visiting our beautiful diverse city, a chance to reach out to neighbors from all walks of life.
- HOPE-fest 2023: “Celebrating Culture through Cultivating Change” hosted by Shiloh Baptist Church- The HOPEFEST 2023 is committed to bringing the residents of York City and County together to promote awareness, diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural appreciation in a welcoming environment. Citizens from all walks of life are welcomed to be a part of this weeklong celebration as we aim to highlight the positive in York and its surrounding communities. A variety of activities including entertainment, education, community engagement, health and awareness, sports, and community give back opportunities are promoted for the residents of this city and county. These events and activities provide a positive platform for positive impact within the community that produces an appreciation for diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and cultural awareness/appreciation.
- Box Lunch Revue, hosted by Working Progress- Providing entertainment and a welcoming experience in Cherry Lane, to extend the positive experience of Central Market, while showcasing a clean park full of music, laughter and fun.
- Jam Time with the Arts, hosted by Boompop Urban Music Project– This free event will foster diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and cultural awareness/appreciation in a variety of ways by hosting at a local faith based facility known for its open doors. This family-friendly, age-friendly, and gender-friendly event aims to encourage awareness of self and how we play a part in the bigger picture of our community. By learning about the spoken word and placing that spoken word to drum music, guests will explore the cultural implications that drumming and the hip-hop culture hold.
- NENA National Night Out, hosted by Northeast Neighborhood Association- The block party brings together local community resources, free activities for children, free local entertainment and free food for the local community. Provides a safe community-based event for the northeast neighborhood.
- Welcoming Week, hosted by YMCA of York and York County- Welcoming Week is part of the national YMCA Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Globalization movement, of which our YMCA is a leader among the country’s YMCA associations, that is highlighting the contributions and strengths of newcomers and immigrants while building connections and relationships between them and long-time residents.
- “Filmopolis” Film Festival, hosted by C&P Media LLC- Bringing together filmmakers from all walks of life, this collaborative brain share will welcome all filmmakers to York to discuss film types, cultural differences through film, and allow artists to be open minded and vulnerable.
About Downtown Inc
Downtown Inc is a 501(c)3 not for profit. MISSION: To drive, enhance, and encourage investment in Downtown York. For more information visit www.downtownyorkpa.com.