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Downtown Inc Announces Welcoming Communities Grant Recipients, $15K Awarded to Events and Programs in Downtown York

Apr 24, 2024 | Blog, Uncategorized

Downtown Inc is pleased to announce the 2024 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, the York County Community Foundation, and in partnership with the Cultural Alliance of York County.

“This is the fifth year we’ve been able to fund and support applicants who are leading creative events and programs in our Downtown,” shared Sarah O’Brien, Director of Downtown Inc. “We are grateful to our external community partners who aid in the process and are dedicated to supporting a connected Downtown York, a welcoming place for all.”

A total of $15,000 in grant funds were allocated to 9 different organizations/individuals:

  • CreekFire, led by Cornerstone Barbershop – CreekFire is a free, family friendly event hosted by the residents and merchants of the WeCo District of York City. The vision and purpose of CreekFire is to provide an opportunity for the community to engage and interact with the creek in a new way. Local, small business owners provide food for purchase, kif-friendly activities, and free entertainment. When the sun sets, the large fires on the creek are lit, and all are invited to gather on the hill to listen to music and watch the fire. The event will be held on June 22 from 5pm-9pm at Foundry Park.
  • NENA Block Party, hosted by Northeast Neighborhood Association- The neighborhood staple block party brings together local community resources, free activities for children, free local entertainment and free food for the local community. The event includes dance fitness, musical performances, the Temple Guard drill team, and various baton and dance performances that showcase the cultural arts of York County as a whole. The event will take place on June 8 from 12pm to 4pm at A.D. Goode School on the grass.
  • Juneteenth Block Party, hosted by Union Evangelical Lutheran Church – This entirely free and festive community event features food, children’s and family activities, bounce houses, entertainers, and history, along with diverse organizations serving our community, and diverse community leaders who share resources for healthy living, community action, safety, food security, clothing, housing, youth development and recreation, spiritual growth, and more. The event serves 400-plus meals as we enjoy time as neighbors and we welcome visitors in the community. The event will take place on June 19 from 6pm-8pm on the block of Penn Street between W. Market St. and Mason Ave.
  • York St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2025- The York St. Patrick’s Day Parade made its debut in 1983. Now in its 38th year the parade has grown into an anticipated annual family-friendly event in Downtown York, PA showcasing Irish dancers, bagpipers, bands, floats, community organizations and much more! The parade committee is 100% volunteer based. The parade is a collaborative effort and provides the City of York with a platform to showcase all that it has to offer. The event will take place on March 15, 2025 from 11am to 3pm in Downtown York.
  • We call York PA Home- 275 years, organized by Annalisa Gojmerac – In celebration of York County, Pa.’s 275th anniversary, Annalisa Gojmerac has created a collaborative event to build 275 unique birdhouses. This multi-purpose, hands-on, free, environmentally beneficial project engages participants of all ages to assemble birdhouses. These birdhouses function as homes for local and migrating winged wildlife that we desire to “re-home” to the city and county, inevitable with ongoing physical improvements to our Codorus Creek, and the city overall. The event will run from May 1 to August 31 on various dates and times at Keystone Kidspace, Grotto Commons, and other various locations throughout York City and York County.
  • History Passport of York County, hosted by York County History Center – The History Center strives to continuously engage with our community. The History Passport program enables local historical and arts organizations to build partnerships while serving the community and serving their missions. This program enables local organizations to provide comprehensive, impressive opportunities for the public to explore history, fostering a key network of organizations for York County. The event will take place from June 1-September 1, 2024 at the York County History Center sites in Downtown York, alongside the history sites throughout York County.
  • Eye Speak Rhyme, led by Annabell Bonilla – Eye Speak Rhyme is a pop up, open mic, poetry, spoken word, and storytelling free community event. Based around mental health and creative expression through writing and performance, with a “village” type of homeness. We invite creatives, writers, publishers, and aspiring authors for an intimate night of “safe” emotional expression through words and play. Encouraging networking and writing support, it is an 18 and over event to aid in the navigating process of book writing and performance, with book tables for authors to promote themselves, a DJ, with an intermission of food provided by a local business. Hosted by local artist with features from neighboring cities to aid in promotional inclusion. The event will take place on November 16 from 6pm-9pm at Penn Market.
  • HOPEFEST 2024: “Excelling in Community, Culture, and Collaborative Change” hosted by Shiloh Baptist Church- HOPEFEST 2024 is a celebration of community, culture, and collaborative change in York City and County. This event bridges unity, cultural appreciation, diversity and inclusion, and entertainment in a festive atmosphere by giving back to City and County residents. The activities include (but not limited to) sports, movies, community clean-up, bus pass contributions, gas giveaways, cultural celebration events, fitness and health, education, and faith-based activities. The event takes place on September 23-29 at Shiloh Baptist Church, Bantz Park, throughout the West York Community.
  • “Filmopolis” Film Festival, hosted by C&P Media LLC- Filmopolis welcomes all types of filmmakers to gather, share their works, and provide feedback on projects. From its 5 previous events, Filmopolis has shown work from short films, commercials, animation, documentaries, etc. Filmmakers come and show their work, and the event is open to the public so they can ask questions to the artist and have an open discussion about the topic of the work. The event will take place on August 23, 2024 from 5pm-9pm at Marketview Arts.
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