From Parking to Pop Up: A Story of Inspired Partnership

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The City’s parking lot at Seventh and Washington streets is not just a parking lot.

It is undergoing a creative transformation into an event location.

It is being transformed into a “pop-up” performance park that will help bring exciting public programming to the business district adjacent to the Covington Arts center.

Folks can thank Renaissance Covington, MKSK and other partners for the creative transformation of a parking lot into a happening location. 

The new design includes string lighting, painted pavement, landscaping, a kiosk, planters, outdoor electric, and a covered stage designed to be able to install and uninstall in less than 30 minutes.

The public is invited to the Pop Up Park Launch Party, scheduled for August 2 from 7-10 p.m.  Local musicians, food, drink and performances are on the schedule. Volunteers are also sought to help prepare for the event; interested parties can sign up at http://ow.ly/xSLMJ.

The project began in 2013, when Renaissance Covington and MKSK  were awarded $1,000 for the design proposal from Place from Space, a local design initiative supported by the Architecture Foundation of Cincinnati (AFC), that aims to turn vacant or underutilized spaces into active community space that creates a vital and vibrant place.

In 2014, Renaissance Covington partnered with Keep Covington Beautiful and Renaissance Covington and was awarded a $2,000 Place Matters grant from the Center for Great Neighborhoods. This partnership identified more opportunities to improve the overall appearance of the area and engage new downtown residents in the development of the project.

Renaissance Covington also applied to Cov10, a local private citizen funding opportunity, and was awarded an additional $2,200 towards the installation.

The remaining costs are being covered by Covington Arts and Art Off Pike, both whom support the overall revitalization of downtown.

Jim Guthrie, Chair of Art Off Pike, and Chair of the Design Committee of Renaissance Covington explains, “The lot was already being appropriated for art murals, Food Truck Frenzy, musical performances and Art Off Pike.  This project is one more step in formalizing the space as a gathering spot and the City needs spaces like this.”

Other partners include:

·         The City of Covington has become a vital partner by repaving the lot, which was in disrepair, and offering installation support on the final project.

·         Covington-based design firm BLDG, who is offering its creative expertise in the application of the design elements as well as the branding of the space. The official name of the space will be released in coming weeks.

·         DPMT7 is a collective warehouse space shared by makers and thinkers are using their construction design expertise to physically construct many of the elements of the project, including new planters and the stage, made of recycled pallets donated by Marx Bagels and Rookwood Pottery.

Katie Meyer, Manager of Renaissance Covington, describes the project as a true reflection of the spirit of creativity and progress in Covington. “The number of individuals and organizations who are volunteering their time and talents is not only exciting, it’s indicative of the energy and passion people hold for downtown living, arts and culture, and the ongoing progress of Covington.”

MKSK Urban Designer Juliana Silveira says of the project, “Activating the street by our office was a big driver to get involved in this project. We had so much fun brainstorming the potential of uses that materializing in a project was just the next step. The improvised use for the parking lot transformed into the Popup Performance Park for Covington, can be an effective solution to build excitement within the district and help catalyze future development.”

The Project seeks 30 volunteers for Saturday July 12 and Sunday July 13 to paint the parking lot. Thirty more volunteers are needed for planting, landscaping, and clean-up on Saturday July 19. All volunteer days are from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and they can sign up at http://ow.ly/xSLMJ or find more information at facebook.com/renaissancecovington.

 

Event Details:

What: Pop up Park Launch Party

Where: parking lot on Seventh Street and Washington Street, Covington

When: August 2, 7-10 p.m.

Cost: Free to the public

Who: contact kmeyer@covingtonky.gov or 859-292-2166 with any questions

 

For Volunteer Opportunities: http://ow.ly/xSLMJ