SoDo Main Street District Receives United Arts Community Vibrancy Grant, Naming Orlando Credit Union as Community Partner to Support South Orange Avenue Businesses

SoDo Main Street District proudly announces their grant award from United Arts of Central Florida to provide support to South Orange Avenue businesses. In April of 2023, United Arts announced this new program to invest in the intersection of arts and culture and economic and social impact in Central Florida. The Community Vibrancy Grant Program, funded by the Ginsburg Family Foundation, is a place-based pilot program that engages local performing artists to enliven public spaces within commercial districts of Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. "United Arts is committed to strengthening the arts and cultural ecosystem in Central Florida to support local artists in their communities and develop an audience for their art form," said Jennifer Evins, president and CEO of United Arts. The Community Vibrancy Grant Program is designed to elevate community vibrancy by increasing pedestrian traffic and spending in local businesses, restaurants, and other hospitality venues and support creative placemaking by engaging and paying performing artists to amplify civic engagement and community pride. 

Since March 2022, SoDo District businesses and the larger SoDo community have experienced ongoing difficulties due to a critical project aimed at improving water and utility infrastructure in the area. With this grant, SoDo will activate businesses through a performing arts series in the district. The series will kick off in late February and will run through spring. To amplify the effort, Orlando Credit Union has generously signed on as community partner. With their support, SoDo will offer incentives to bring visitors to enjoy the performances as a way to thank our community for supporting our amazing businesses and to continue coming back. Guests will receive small acts of kindness, such as a free cup of coffee, dessert, or cocktail when they come out to enjoy the artists and ensure businesses have strong sales each engagement. 

“When we define our commitment to Orlando, we often use a reference hashtag, #investinginU. At Orlando Credit Union, we invest in people, we invest in neighborhoods, we invest in community. Embracing and offering funding to assist with this program highlights these concepts and enables the bringing to life of a reference,” stated David Duncan, Orlando Credit Union VP of Marketing. “SoDo District will continue working on our goal to expand access to artists, increasing art visibility, and public access to the arts. Public performance art has the potential to enrich community identity and cement a sense of place that is particularly important for determining where people want to live and spend their time” comments SoDo District Executive Director, Misty Heath. 

A schedule of performances, featured businesses, and community incentives to be announced through SoDo’s social media. Follow @sododistrct and a schedule will be forthcoming. 

Source: Orlando Credit Union

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