Recipients: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner; International Hartford; Riverfront Recapture; iQuilt Partnership; Hartford BID
One World Market at CTfastrak Station in Parkville
The brainchild of International Hartford, a non-profit which serves immigrants and refugees, was stimulated by the opening of CTfastrak and the pedestrian activity this would create at and around the new station stops. With native heritage entertainment from many countries, One World Market captures foot traffic to draw customers to immigrant-owned mobile food trucks and stalls. International Hartford’s objective is to enable start-up food stalls, tents and food trucks to develop a following and become profitable commercial vendors, enabling their proprietors to eventually graduate to stationary locations.
The success of One World Market has enabled an ethnic vendor to buy his own food truck. Others have branched out, with International Hartford’s assistance, to sell food at brewpubs in the area. This season, Trinity College has reached out to bring One World Market to its college campus and its environs.
Riverfront Recapture Programs
Riverfront Recapture’s mission to connect people to the Connecticut River. Taking the lead of numerous downtowns and public parks throughout the country, the organization develops creative new programs that attract people and increase the time that they spent in Riverfront parks.
In 2017, Riverfront unveiled a series of daily programs including Magic Mondays, Potter on the Plaza (a weekly reading of the first Harry Potter book), free yoga on Wednesday evenings, meditation classes, Barre classes, Lunchtime Launch (20-minute free boat rides on the river on the Hartford Belle), Fore the Fish, and a series of free improv shows featuring Sea Tee Improv, and the popular Thursday evening happy hours that returned for a second year. These programs were immediately popular. On average, 125 people participated in yoga on the plaza lawn each week, and Riverfront ‘sold out’ the free lunchtime cruises on the Hartford Belle. In addition to bringing more people to the plaza and parks, the programming enhanced the profile and image of Riverfront Recapture and its parks system while enhancing the reputation of the City and the region.
The KNOW GOOD Market
The KNOW GOOD Market is an open-air street food destination designed to promote the collective culture of Hartford. “Come together, have awesome food” and “fun, interesting stuff in a cool place” is how KNOW GOOD Market’s founders describe this event, which is held in the Parkville neighborhood, between 30-50 Bartholomew Avenue in Hartford, on the second Thursdays from April through November. Featuring food trucks and larger food vendors; dessert and smaller food vendors; artisan, craft and other vendors, in 2018, KNOW GOOD Market will add a farmers’ market and live music.
The KNOW Good Market is a venture of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner – four young entrepreneurs (Quenton Narcisse, Onyeka Obiocha, Jeffrey Devereux, and Joshua Jenkins) that work to create collective culture by building unique, diverse and creative ventures that bring people together. This team leverages the assets of the Connecticut region to bring the best of the community forward to offer both in-house ventures and the projects of their partners and clients.
The iQuilt Partnership produces Winterfest, which brings over 100,000 visitors into Bushnell Park for ice skating, skating lessons and skate rentals, and photos with Santa from Thanksgiving through early January – all provided at no cost, thanks to the generous donations provided by major business stakeholders in downtown, financial institutions, and individuals that work and live in Hartford. During the week you will find people who work downtown skating on their lunch hour. After school you will find local children enjoying an hour or two at the rink, and on weekends, families from all over the region come to enjoy a free activity. In recent years, the iQuilt, through various grants, has been able to add a cultural dimension to the weeks-long event. On any given weekend you can find life-size puppets strolling through Bushnell Park, Drum Circles and Steel Drum Symphonies.
In its 8th year, Winterfest saw upwards of 35,000 people skating, taking over 9,600 carousel rides, and 4,800 pictures with Santa. When 35,000 people come to Hartford, they don’t just come to skate. They come to Hartford and experience Hartford. Whether that is skating and then going to a Wolf Pack game, or skating and then having lunch or dinner at one of the many fabulous restaurants in downtown, or skating and then spending the day at a museum – people are realizing that Hartford is a walkable city with many wonderful assets.
Pratt Street Patio
The Pratt Street Patio pilot program grew out of series of public and private stakeholder conversations centered on how to leverage the 2017 financial investment in Pratt Street’s repair and renovation. The Pratt Street Patio Pilot activated a historic brick-lined street in the heart of downtown Hartford from May – September 2017. The street was closed to vehicular traffic during lunchtime, to accommodate bistro tables and chairs for outdoor dining, live music, arts events and other social activities. The Pratt Street Patio pilot was primarily funded through meter revenue collected during the times that the street was open to vehicles.
Further investments were made by the Hartford Business Improvement District and several individual merchants to fund additional entertainment events on the street. The Pratt Street Patio brought more people and more attention to the merchants on the historic block. Pratt Street businesses reported increases in sales during the pilot program dates. The Pratt Street Patio helped better connect Main Street with the XL Center; it brought people out of their cubicles and into downtown Hartford five days per week; and increased the interest of outside organizations holding their special events on Pratt Street.
Hartford BID Roadside Assistance Program
The Hartford Business Improvement District (HBID) launched a new, free Bicycle Roadside Assistance Program on May 18, 2017 in conjunction with the national Bike to Work Day. Six HBID Ambassadors are trained to fix flat tires, replace tubes, reattach slipped chains, or tighten loose bolts to get cyclists back on the road. The first program of its kind in the United States, this free, on-site service is provided daily, Monday through Saturday from 6:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. and Sunday from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. free of charge, anywhere in the District by placing a quick call to an Ambassador Assistance line.
The program received international attention in September 2017 when an article written by Pat Eaton-Robb for the Associate Press was picked up by the New York Times, Washington post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Daily Mail (UK), National Post (Canada) and dozens of other national and local news outlets. As cities all over the world look to reduce car use and encourage additional transit options, the BID wants to foster increased bicycle transit by offering a reliable support system for people who might be on the fence about biking into the city center, while providing a valuable service to current bicycle commuters.