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Cardboard Art Festival: From An Artist’s Perspective

To be honest, we’re using the term “artist” loosely.  Hello!  My name is Leah Nash, I’m the current Chairperson for the Downtown South Board of Directors, as well as a Downtown South resident.  This year, I submitted a proposal called “Peace, Love, and Kitty Cats” to show in the 4th Annual Cardboard Art Festival {produced by The Daily City} and was pleasantly surprised when my proposal was selected. Until I realized that I would actually have to create this gigantic piece of art, made entirely of cardboard, in just three short weeks. Never did I think that I would consider cardboard so frequently, but here I was nonetheless.  I began collecting cardboard every where I went. I was {again} pleasantly surprised at how generous people were with giving me their cardboard.  In fact, thank you to the following companies for “sponsoring” my first art installment: Columbia Street Studios, Community Acupuncture of Orlando, In Bloom Florist, Go Big Marketing, and Total Wine and More After the Pulse tragedy, it was important to me to frequent as many Downtown South businesses that were closed by the investigation as possible.  I’m happy to say that 100% of supplies purchased for “Peace, Love, and Kitty Cats” were made at our local Toole’s Ace Hardware store.  If you have ever shopped there, you know how friendly and helpful the staff is and my DAILY visits there for my cardboard art piece were no exceptions.  I’m actually selling “Peace, Love, and Kitty Cats” for the exact amount that it cost me to make, which is $112.01. I was also very happy that the Cardboard Art Festival was hosted by Sodo Shopping Center, which is literally less than a mile from my house AND right across the street from my new favorite place, Ace Hardware {yes!  Ace IS the place!}.  With it being so close, I could easily transport pieces back and forth, as well as work in the space.  With my installment being so large {one piece is over 6′ tall}, it was nice to have large space available to me. The 4th Annual Cardboard Art Festival is being held July 22 – 31 at the Sodo Shopping Center, next to TJ Maxx.  Click here for a schedule of events and gallery hours.  Every single piece of art is made entirely of cardboard.  There are tiny pieces all the way up to large installments, like mine.  “Peace, Love, and Kitty Cats” is a three-piece interactive installment.  Please stop by during gallery hours to check it out, try some of the pieces on {there are Cat Hats!}, and snap some pics.  If you post your pics, please use #PeaceLoveandKittyCats . Cardboard Art Festival is using the following: #cardboardisawesome and #cardboardartfest2016 .  You can also find Cardboard Art Festival on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Hope to see you there! Here’s a sneak peak of “Peace, Love, and Kitty Cats”:    Here are some progress pics:...

Downtown South Works Towards Recovery

The Downtown South community is deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy that occurred to our neighbor Pulse Orlando on June 12th in Downtown South.  Our hearts go out to everyone affected. We cannot explain why this terrible tragedy happened but we can tell you one thing:  WE ARE STLL HERE.  We are here to support our businesses and residents, our city, and our community.  We are not going anywhere.

Economic Vitality After Pulse Tragedy

Members of the Downtown South community met on June 15, 2016 to discuss the effects of the terrible tragedy that happened at Pulse Orlando on June 12, 2016.  Following please find notes from the meeting: Sarah Elbadri, Downtown South Executive Director, and Pauline Eaton, City of Orlando Main Streets Coordinator, opened the meeting and welcomed attendees.  Sarah briefly went over the reason for the meeting, which was how to discuss Downtown South could support community businesses and residents.  She introduced the implementation of a coalition that will directly work on the effects of the Pulse Orlando tragedy on local businesses. Sarah read the list of businesses that have been required to close for the continuation of the FBI investigation and asked that the community continue to support the open businesses.  The list of closed businesses are: Einstein Bagels Wendy’s Radio Shack Connect PCS Cellphone Repair Liberty Tax Game Face Tattoo No. 1 Celebrity Barbershop Orlando ProCare Pro Tint Pulse Orlando Dunkin’ Donuts Pavlik Professional Center Pavlik Chiropractic Standup MRI of Orlando Orlando Foot & Ankle Clinic S. Orange Physical Therapy Pavlik Yoga SODO Shopping Center is still open but only accessible from the back. Pauline Eaton and Holly Vanture reminded attendees that we can also support open businesses with online, delivery, carry out (if possible) orders and asked that we share this with others. Dr. Dan Pavlik offered condolences and stated that the FBI has shut down Pavlik Professional Center for the indefinite future.  They have been told that the anticipated time of closure is 7-10 business days.  Dr. Pavlik also advised all to offer the FBI any video coverage that you may have and requested that Downtown South keep affected businesses informed on how to apply for any state or federal disaster fund aid offered.  He also asked the continuing of coordinated communication during this time and praised Mayor Buddy Dyer, Commissioner Patty Sheehan, and the City of Orlando for their leadership during this time. With businesses being forced to close, Jon Toothman from Radio Shack spoke about revenue opportunities available by renting parking, internet access, and/or power to media. David Porter from David Porter Communications/Lucy Bluez asked if we could learn anything from previous tragedy economic aftermaths such 9/11.  He recommended working together to highlight Downtown South businesses with an event, campaign, etc. in a tasteful manner.  As a journalist, he understands that media is often looking for a “second day story.”  In our case, it would be how Downtown South has been economically affected by the tragedy.  This may be something that the coalition being formed can work on.  Pauline will speak to the City’s Communication team to see if Mayor Dyer can be involved. A representative from Fleet Feet Orlando recommended that everyone look at their insurance policies for what can be provided for business interruption insurance or if your business has opted in for terrorism insurance.  Downtown South will be able to provide official road closure information needed to submit any insurance or disaster fund claims.  Marilyn Costello, a Wadeview neighborhood resident, said that she has information to share about business insurance claims that occurred after the Boston marathon tragedy (Downtown South will share once we receive). Pauline Eaton urged all to follow Downtown South on social media since that is the quickest way to provide updates: Downtown South Facebook Downtown South Instagram Downtown South Twitter Janelle Middents, Downtown South Board Member, stated that recovery is going to take an army with a long term vision.  She asked if, when the time is right, that we could have our power house organizations who have been showing so much support now continue to show support to Downtown South businesses in the future.  Pauline urged attendees to join Downtown South committees to help with the recovery process. Michael Anderson from Edward Jones Financial Services asked if their were ongoing counseling opportunities available.  A resource guide was distributed that included counseling opportunities and other ways to help. Kelly Galea, local business owner, asked that Downtown South be very specific when asking for help, as well as directing people to local businesses (provide websites). Discussion ensued about traffic.  Jason Burton, Chief Planner, from the City of Orlando, will speak to the City’s Transportation department about utilization of signs and signal light adjustments. President Obama will be visiting Downtown South on Thursday, June 16, 2016.  No details have been released. Sarah offered some short-term that Downtown South is working on: Economic Revitalization Coalition Open letter from Downtown South Campaign around Downtown South businesses The meeting ended.  Attendees were asked to indicate or the sign in sheet if they would like to join the coalition or you may also fill out the form below. Fill out my Wufoo form! The easy to use Wufoo form builder helps you make forms easy, fast, and...

Call To Artists: DTSO Icon

DTSO is seeking design submissions for a project that is all about DTSO love.  We love our businesses and we want to show it by producing a special artistic icon to be displayed at member businesses throughout the district.

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