Block Party and Music
The Block Party and Music Initiative was created during a neighborhood association meeting. Many of the residents at the meeting suggested a block party with music to help the neighborhood become more united. The neighbors discussed how many of them do not know anyone in the neighborhood, other than those that live on their street or in direct proximity of their houses, and they would like to know more people.
The block party and music initiative is important for the neighborhood because it will help the neighborhood become more united and help the residents see the neighborhood as their own. On May 4th, 2016, the first block party will be held at the Ross Center, in hopes that the block party will become an annual event so that residents will be able to get to know one another. Community events are important because they help create a united front, but not only do they create a united front they also help create a community identity. Many residents do not know that they live in TPA and a block party would allow for those residents to take pride in the neighborhood.
The block party and music initiative aims to promote community involvement in hopes that neighbors will come to the block party and want to become more involved in their neighborhood. A way that neighbors could be involved are to participate in the monthly neighborhood association meeting to learn about what is going on in the neighborhood, and so that they can express their concerns about the neighborhood so that the association can try to address their concerns. The block party initiative also aims to promote community assets such as the Ross Center/Rose Park and Thomas Park. These community assets have been long time educational and recreational facilities for the neighborhood that have helped promote a healthy and safe lifestyle for the children of the neighborhood.
To promote community safety, at the May 4th, 2016 block party there will be members of both the Muncie Police and Muncie Fire Department that serve the area at the event. This is so that the community will have a chance to meet those who serve them so they can form relationships and feel safe. It will also serve as an entertainment option for children, so that they can meet the police officers and fire fighters and see their cars and fire trucks.
Figure 1: Jessie Boshell
For this initiative to take place, the TPA neighborhood association would have to take charge in organizing the event annually. This would include passing out flyers and putting up posters in neighborhood businesses to spread the word about the event. The neighborhood association could also collaborate with local businesses to purchase or receive donations of food and drinks for the annual block party. This allows for local businesses to have free marketing, which can lead to an increase in business for the local establishments.
For the block party held on May 4th, 2016, several businesses have donated items, those businesses are McCallister’s on McGalliard and Three Wise Men Brewery. McCallister’s has agreed to donate 10 gallons of tea, Three Wise Men Brewery has agreed to donate 10 pizzas for the block party.
In the future the neighborhood association can set the block party up as a potluck instead of having to rely on outside vendors. To keep the selected location clean the neighborhood association should ask several residents if they would help clean up trash and help break tables and other items down. This promotes community involvement while keeping the selected site clean. If the neighborhood association would like to continue having outside vendors, involving local businesses is the best option because local businesses are allies and enjoy giving back to the community that are customers.
To pay for the block party, if there are no outside vendor donations, the ideal way to pay for the block party would be to set up a giving fund, in which neighbors can give a few dollars throughout the year to help pay for future events. This also promotes community involvement, because the residents would see the neighborhood as their own, and would promote a sense of pride in their neighborhood.
TPA has two convenient options to host block parties in the future. Those options being the Ross Center/ Rose Park, and Thomas Park. Both areas offer the space and convenience for the neighborhood to host a block party. With the open space of Thomas Park, there is a wide variety of options that could be included in future block parties. As you can see on the map Thomas Park is considered to be highly suitable for future block parties. The park is considered highly suitable because of the vast open space, restroom facilities, and because it is a coveted part of TPA that is used for baseball and softball, and represents the values of the neighborhood.
The Ross Center/ Rose Park is considered to be suitable and identified with yellow in the map below. The reason that the Ross Center/ Rose Park is not considered highly suitable is because of the size of the location. Thomas Park has more space to offer as can be seen on the map than the Ross Center/ Rose Park. However, even though the size is smaller it is a suitable location for future block parties because it is convenient for the neighborhood residence, and the center has been a great advocate and asset in the community.
Thomas Park and the Ross Center/ Rose Park are the most suitable options for the neighborhood to hold block parties. The reason that it has not been suggested that the neighborhood hold block parties on the streets is because of safety issues that can result from traffic. To hold a block party on the street it would also require for there to be streets closed, which would also upset the flow of traffic. Another reason that streets have not been suggested is because by having the block parties at a neutral site in the neighborhood, it creates the opportunity for all residents in the neighborhood to come to the block party, instead of individual sections of the neighborhood having a block party that would lead to others being left out.
Map: Jessie Boshell
In the Riverwest Neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin the neighborhood set up an annual block party that spans over two blocks. To implement the block party the neighbors set up a strategic way to have a great time by promoting community involvement. One of the strategies they implemented was to have trash bags placed next to food and drink tables, so that there was an ease in disposing of their trash. After the block party was over, the residence took the trash bags home with them and disposed of them with their personal trash to save on costs for the neighborhood having to have outside disposal services come take the trash away. To implement the block party there were two people per block assigned to help with coordination of the event. Having multiple block members help the neighborhood association lead to the word being spread faster and further, rather than the association having to send out flyers and put up posters on every corner and in local businesses. To make sure that all garbage was disposed of there are people assigned to trash cleanup on a rotating basis each year to make sure that it is not the same people on trash duty each year. To cut back on costs of food and drinks, the neighborhood set the block party up as a potluck. The residents bring food and drinks to share with everyone, and they bring their own plates and cups so that the additional costs are minimal.
Department of Community Development
300 N. High St. City Hall
Muncie, IN 47305-1639
Phone: (765) 747-4825
Fax: (765) 747-4898
Contact: Terry Whitt Bailey, Director
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