This past Spring, the Koreatown Northgate Community Benefits District hired Popuphood to do a deep dive with the KONO community to do an analysis and inventory of the resources and challenges for the future of their neighborhood. As part of this project, Sarah Filley co-created a Spring class at California College of the Arts called Creative Disruptions with faculty Liz Ogbu. Together we partnered with students to apply "design thinking" and "creative engagement" strategies and gather community members' ideas for KONO's revitalization with our partners at Neighborland. We will be sharing a series of blog posts so that you can take that deeper dive with us during the month of September. We will use this as an opportunity to define what creative engagement means to us here at Popuphood and how design thinking influenced our students to approach this neighborhood in a unique way.
Local merchants have KONO pride. They love the neighborhood, and invested in the neighborhoods potential for growth, and are excited to be a part of its evolution. Nat from Bloom Screen Printing specifically talked about how the merchants work together:
Obviously, Art Murmur has been hugely successful for the area in terms of driving folks to support retail in the area. Building on this, we are interested in exploring how KONO can extend some of this foot traffic on more of a day-to-day basis throughout the month.
The merchants also mentioned the need for:
Block Parties. Quarterly community weekend events that involve KONO businesses.
Taste of KONO. A semi-annual event showcasing the diversity of KONO’s cuisine.
Merchant-Sponsored Events. Weekly events at various businesses, such as a pub quiz or karaoke night.
Street Fairs. Weekly community events such as swap meets, job fairs, or farmers markets.
KONO has so much potential, and the CCA students really tapped into a lot of wonderful ideas for the neighborhood by spending so much time with merchants in the area. Some of the ideas we feel are especially promising in their ability to amplify diversity of the area, and also use some of the neighborhood revitalization strategies that have been successfully implemented in other cities. Look out for more posts from us covering further research findings in KONO from residents, cyclists, the arts community and the wonderful exhibition our own Sarah Filley curated to showcase the findings, in a gallery in KONO on first Friday of course!