Covington Main Street Program Becomes Independent Non-Profit

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Renaissance Covington is on the move. The non-profit organization aimed at downtown revitalization is moving out of City Hall, both literally and organizationally. For the past year, the Board of Directors and current Renaissance Manager, Katie Meyer, have been working on a plan to move the organization from a City-supported office to a street-level independent non-profit.

Last week, Covington Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a 5-year contractual agreement to support the efforts of Renaissance Covington in their transition. The organization will relocate to a storefront at 2 W. Pike Street on Nov. 1. Meyer describes the office as, "a resource for potential and existing residents, business owners, and investors, with information on upcoming events and programs, available properties, business resources, and partner organizations."

"Like downtown Covington, Renaissance is really moving forward. We’re partnering with great organizations and are building the capabilities to do even more exciting projects and events in the future,” explained Board President Steven Bryant. Bryant and his wife Jaime own B-books and Kiki Magazine, located at 116 W. Pike Street.  Renaissance Covington board members and staff believe that their new independent status and visibility will open doors to increased partnerships and investment in Covington's revitalization and public art potential. 

“We have a strong organizational structure and strategic focus. I'm excited to see what we can accomplish," Meyer said. Renaissance Covington is currently working on the Citizen's Holiday Pop-Up, the Roebling Point Night Bazaar, Curb'd, and the development of a website.

The Citizen's Holiday Pop-Up is the name of this year's holiday retail pop-up shop initiative which will take place at 304 Court Street, also known as the Citizen's Telephone Building. This is the fourth year that Renaissance Covington has facilitated a program to locate pop-up retailers in a vacant or underutilized property during the holiday shopping season. Several of the businesses that have participated transitioned to permanent storefronts including Village Gifts, Grainwell/Olivia Lane, Madison Gallery, River City News, and District 78.

The Roebling Point Night Bazaar is a new event this year. Planned for December 4th and 5th, the Night Bazaar will be located on Park Avenue. Focused on experience and creativity, the Night Bazaar will offer a unique opportunity to shop for local and handmade gifts, as well as the gift of an intangible experience. Vendors from across the region will be onsite to sell tours, classes, spa and wellness, travel, and more.

Curb'd is an initiative to create quasi-temporary installations in parking spots, also known as parklets. This project will link businesses, designers, and builders to compete in a design competition. Five parklets will be installed next May and will stay up through October. The project is supported by the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile/US Bank Foundation.  

Board Vice President Jim Guthrie, an architect at Hub + Weber said, "Covington's creative energy is real. By joining the Arts and Main Street initiatives, we can continue to develop and expand our placemaking and public art efforts as strategies for urban revitalization."

In addition to the projects described above, Renaissance Covington previous placemaking projects include  Madlot, a pop-up performance park at 7th and Washington, management of Art Off Pike and most recently Interpose, a Zen-inspired Rock Garden underneath the railway at Pike and Russell.