(Ad)Venture Capital: Pitch Your Big Ideas for Community Projects, Score Funding
BY ANSLEY WHIPPLE, MIDTOWN ALLIANCE PROJECT MANAGER
Midtown Atlanta is a place for people, and the innovation capital of the South, where big ideas come to life. Our goal is to have something fun and exciting in our neighborhood everywhere you look — a pop-up bakery on the corner, a free holiday event in a plaza, spruced up outdoor seating at your favorite café.
The future of Midtown as a vibrant place depends on ample opportunities to gather together in spaces like these. Improving and activating public spaces with events, amenities and reasons to spend time here are key to the long-term success and resilience of Midtown. The importance of these strategies emerged during the development of the Midtown Public Life Action Plan.
To build and maintain momentum, Midtown needs fresh ideas and partnerships. Midtown Alliance is trying a new approach this year: we’re investing more directly in ideas that support public life through our new (Ad)Venture Capital Fund. We’re looking for project ideas from individuals, teams, nonprofits, property owners, small business owners, and others that we can support with expertise and potential seed funding to help catalyze efforts in the following areas:
1. Community Activations: events and programming in existing public spaces. Midtown has a variety of existing public spaces, including some in public right-of-way like streets and sidewalks, and other dedicated spaces like parks and plazas. Some are maintained by Midtown Alliance, such as Arts District Plaza, Commercial Row Commons, Spring Street Parklets, and 10th Street Park. Others are managed by individual property owners.
Some of these spaces already are being programmed to attract people, but others are not. Community activation partners are invited to submit proposals for events and programming that bring people outside to enjoy public spaces. Need some inspiration? Think temporary artisan, farmers or holiday markets; outdoor fitness or art classes; interactive art installations; social events; lawn games; block parties or street festivals with art, food and music; live music and concert series; outdoor movies; and more.
2. New or Enhanced Spaces for People: any size, open to all and accessible from the sidewalk. This category focuses on existing spaces that need programming or enhancements to come to life, including places that have never functioned as public spaces before. The only requirement is that the space not be restricted only to owners, tenants or customers.
3. Ground Floor Enhancements: facade upgrades to make a ground floor more vibrant and inviting at street level. Simple upgrades such as lush planters, public art, outdoor seating and patio dining can be good for business as well as an enhancement to the overall street-level experience. While we don’t have the money to help fund ground floor facade construction, we can help with design inspiration, ideas for simple retrofits and potentially with contracted design services for the right project. We also have tables and chairs we can loan out on a trial basis to experiment with. This opportunity is right for a ground floor business, property owner or manager. Just let us know your interest and what you have in mind and let’s talk.
Midtown Alliance’s role in (Ad)venture Capital is to assist with early inspiration, permitting and regulatory guidance, expertise, promotional support, introductions to other partners and seed funding for the right projects.
Have an idea that you believe everyone in the Midtown Improvement District would enjoy? Make your pitch! Get details about the (Ad)venture Capital Fund, share your ideas, and we’ll go from there.
Leave a Comment