Urban Planning

Cultural Council has new leadership – Tony Allegretti

A new leader has taken over the reins of , circled round his staff, and forged a collaborative path for its future.  has a vision, and he wants you to come along and be part of it.  Born in , with stops in Venice, Gulf Breeze, Florida, along the way, Allegretti has long been moving in the spheres of marketing, advocacy and art. Starting out in criminology at FSU, he began to sell ATMs in the Panhandle.Allegretti found himself at home selling and packaging ideas. He dabbled in the trade shows and set up ATM displays out of Fort Walton. …

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A River Runs Through It

A calm, cool presence winds its way through our concrete jungle, one that other downtowns would kill for. Jacksonville was born on the banks of the St. Johns River – and the start of the city remains the heart of Downtown today. The Northbank supported a bustling maritime industry with the last shipyards operational into the 1980s – just visit the Jacksonville Maritime Heritage Center at The Jacksonville Landing for a glimpse into its history. Downtown’s Southbank enjoyed a turn-of-the-century entertainment destination boasting a 30-acre , the setting for numerous silent films, from 1907 to 1916. Today, the St. Johns …

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Downtown On The Rise

If our homes and workplaces are our first two social environments, a third place is anywhere else we go to socialize. Coined by urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg, third places are everyday gathering places that are the anchors of community life. They are easily accessible – often walkable, are welcoming and comfortable with a set of “regulars,” and usually include food or drinks as a key part of the experience. These are the places where we go to make our own entertainment. Great Downtowns have great third places. Urban living means trading in backyards for a variety of walkable hangouts. From …

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Downtown, In Focus

In the immortal words of former Jacksonville Mayor , “As your Downtown goes, so goes your city.” So then, how are things Downtown going today? The number of Downtown residents is the highest it’s been in decades, and residential properties are more than 90% occupied. Downtown office vacancy rates continue to drop each year. Crime in Downtown accounts for only 2% of serious crime in the entire City of Jacksonville. And, Downtown has more parking than , not including . Downtown champions are hard at work. The  has created a Spark Grant program for Downtown revitalization through the arts. , …

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Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville’s Night Of Fire

Just as Downtown continues to go through a renaissance, so is the  ’s leadership, as it is sparking the fire and turning Downtown into a hot flame of the arts and cultural activity-–the phoenix is rising. The evolution of Downtown is intertwined with that of the Cultural Council, both integral and symbiotic parts of the economic engine focused on re-defining  as a vital place to live, work, and play. The iconic , the nexus of the now infamous , will soon come alive inside and out with, respectively, the ticketed Council’s 38th Annual Arts Celebration dinner inside, followed by a …

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Spark District Grants

The  is reinventing itself into a mature and multi-level central organization for the arts, which supports the art and cultural events in NE Florida. The  is just one major initiative. An artist can participate in the grant process for funding, too. The first round of Spark District grants was implemented last year with the following: : Art in Empty Storefronts by performing artist and educator  by long-time Jacksonville playwright  Jacksonville Songwriter Residency by , Musician in Residence (special thanks to the Omni for participating in this project) Sculpture Walk in Main Street Park by Professor , UNF Jenny Hager, well …

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ONE SPARK CREATOR-AquaJax Aquarium

How does a giant, 150,000-square-foot, world-class aquarium on the Northbank waterfront, formerly known as The Shipyards, in Downtown sound?  has partnered with the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, and they want you to come by and visit them at -–don’t miss this One Spark Creator project-–it could change Jacksonville for good! First, go to www.aquajax.net and dream along with these visionaries. AquaJax is an advocacy group with ideas to enhance the prosperity, growth, and revenues of Jacksonvillians. This is their first project, and they are dogged to make it happen. They envision docking space for a river taxi, air boats, replicas …

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One Spark Creator-Unity Plaza

 will come alive at ! As we establish the beginning stages of Jacksonville’s first, modern-day, large-scale outdoor gathering space programmed with incredible year round events, we invite the community to come and receive a sneak peek of what’s right around the corner. Curated by JAX2025 at the Juice–a Unity Plaza gallery located on the first floor of the , the Unity Plaza team will showcase the multidisciplinary event programming through live presentations, interactive and stunning visual displays, community participation, and much more. Unity Plaza, a Life Enhancing Urban & Performance Park set to open Fall 2014 in the rising Jacksonville, …

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Millentrepreneurs of #Duval

Kicked into existence in 1979, I was born on the tail-end of what is commonly referred to as Generation X. My generation was the offspring of the often tarred-and-feathered Baby Boomers, and we’re usually thought of as the aimless kids who brought you plaid, grunge music, and web design. We were the meandering daydreamers who were too busy cranking The Pixies CDs, quoting Tarantino films, or saying “amen” to Janeane Garofalo to be caught up in material matters. If the clichés are to be believed, we were disenfranchised by broken Reaganomics and jaded from watching happiness elude our fiscally responsible …

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One Spark is back! April 9-13, 2014

Creativity and inspiration are the fuel of One Spark. The concept of assisting creative individuals and organizations in Jacksonville with seed money came together last year and showcased over 400 contributors to more than 100,000 attendees. One Spark is a crowdfunding festival that brings many facets of the community to downtown Jacksonville and has gathered worldwide recognition–so much so that another chapter is opening up in Berlin. One Spark 2014 has also been selected for A&E’s Project Startup. This year, One Spark has 632 registered and placed creator projects to showcase at One Spark 2014, a 56-percent increase over One …

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