It was strange enough to go a full summer without the energy of staging our little event, but I certainly didn’t think our Arts Festival would fall victim to the global pandemic for a second year. For many, the Arts Festival is synonymous with Corn Hill, but in reality, the neighborhood is so much more. Over the past year, the neighborhood has continued to show its true colors with individuals and groups coming together for the good of the community.
From the Little Free Library in Avery Mall, the dog watering bowls for the four-legged friends, a free food stand near the Flying Squirrel – the natural spirit of individual neighbors making a difference is alive and well. Covid-19 testing, pop-up vaccination, and food distribution sites were hosted by our local churches. These are just a few examples of what makes this a great place to call home.
The Arts Festival is the primary funding source for the neighbors association and two years without the festival has left a significant hole in the annual budget. The success of past festivals and prudent financial management have enabled the association to continue funding many of its traditional activities.
Despite not hosting our festival, there has been no shortage of activity in the neighborhood. Sue Porter and the amazing Beautification Committee have maintained our parks and public spaces. Pete Fraver and the Security Committee have expanded the PAC-TAC program. Lisa Gerst and the Philanthropy Committee continue to award the Tysean Williams scholarship (now in its 7th year) to deserving college-bound city school graduates. The West River Wall project, inspired by the 2012 CHNA Community Design Charrette spearheaded by Bonny Mayer and the Development Committee, is finally coming to life. The original 1974 Third Ward State and National Historic District is being expanded to cover the majority of the neighborhood, providing access to additional tax credits to help homeowners with the high cost of maintenance and repairs.
If all that is not enough, Tammi Panton is working with the community engagement team at school #3 to find ways as neighbors we can support their efforts. Jacquelyn Grippe is similarly working with the team at the Adams Street Rec Center. Ann Lewis is engaging with the faith community to deepen our engagement. Joyce Steele and the House Tour Team are busy planning to welcome folks back after a two-year hiatus. Bill Belecz and the Festival Management team are preparing for the return of the CHAF in 2022. Be sure to save the date now, Saturday, July 9 & 10th. Stay up to date with all these activities by visiting the recently updated Cornhill.org website and Corn Hill|Rochester NY on Facebook.
But there’s more . . . the Corn Hill Gazebo Concert Series is back this year and better than ever. We have a great line-up of performers kicking off on Sunday, July 18th, and will have a little touch of the festival with a different Food Truck at each concert. Skip the cooking and relax with friends in the shade of Lunsford Park. New this year, we will be collecting non-perishable food items to help School #3 stock their food pantry for children and families in need.