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Creating a Destination

October 11, 2018 by Lauren Huber

The Destination Downtown Grant was created to beautify, add vibrancy, and introduce new experiences to downtown Harrisonburg. We invited the community to join us in making downtown an ever-stronger destination for locals and visitors alike. It was hard to choose among the 25 applications, but a panel of community members helped us narrow it down so we could award nine grants that will help us put $25,000 directly into the heart of our city.

Public Art
1. Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition’s Art Bike Racks – $2000
As a top bike town, bike parking can come at a premium throughout downtown. The Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition will combine the functionality of a bike rack with a fun and attractive design to create artistic bike racks for high-traffic areas. 

2. Shenandoah Valley Art Mobile Community’s Mural – $3300
The Shenandoah Valley Art Mobile, a local organization, will create a new art installation downtown and will get the community involved in its creation, too.

3. Harrisonburg Music Teachers Association’s Play-A-Thon – $1250 
Experienced musicians and local students will fill downtown with music centered around a piano placed in front of the library. This is not a formal concert, but an infusion of artistic and cultural energy downtown.

4. Golden Pony’s Soul Fest – $5000
This business, a major supporter of music in Harrisonburg, will host a free, family-friendly event bringing people together around their love of music, especially R&B, Soul, Hip Hop and Go-Go.
5. Brothers Craft Brewing’s Resolute Weekend – $2300
Brother’s Craft Brewery will expand on their successful and growing event to help move visitors throughout downtown for a greater impact. They will partner with other businesses to offer a variety of activities and experiences through a passport program.

6. Hugo Kohl’s Museum of American Jewelry Design & Manufacturing Guided Tours – $1800
This business will expand its tour offerings so it can continue to become a stronger local and regional destination. This project will create more interactive self-guided tours to enhance the visitor experience.

7. Harrisonburg Homes’ Graffiti Revealed – $2500
Harrisonburg Homes will expose 1890s graffiti in the Wilson Downtown Gallery that was found during a renovation, making it available for visitors to enjoy. This project will reveal a piece of our hidden history.

8. Massanutten Regional Library’s StoryWalk – $1600
Nurturing the love of literacy early, MRL will produce quarterly Story Walks. Beginning at the library, participants will progressively experience a story by visiting the windows of several businesses located throughout downtown. When they reach the last passage in the story, they will be invited to interact online about the experience. 

9. City of Harrisonburg’s Pollinator Habitats – $5250
The City of Harrisonburg and the Virginia Master Naturalist volunteers are teaming up to beautify two highly visible sites in the north end of downtown. Visitors will be able to enjoy pollinator habitats up close and learn more about them through educational signage.

These projects will be completed at different times throughout 2019. Follow us on Facebook or sign up for HDR’s newsletter to see their progress and receive updates. The second round of the Destination Downtown Grant will be released in early 2019 so start planning for your big idea now!

Thank you to our selection panel for your insight and dedication to make this a successful endeavor to help create the downtown we ALL love.

Dana Harshberger | Owner, The Frame Factory
Ande Banks | Deputy City Manager, Harrisonburg
Abe Goldberg | Executive Director, JMU‘s Center for Civic Engagement
Adriana Hammond | 150 Franklin Street Gallery
John Ros | Director & Chief Curator, Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art
Andrea Dono | Executive Director, HDR
Lauren Huber | Director of Resources, HDR