Through 1 November 2002 (as submitted to the San Diego Foundation)
This is the first year in existence for the Normal Heights Cultural Council (the Council). Therefore our efforts included organizational development, increasing neighborhood awareness/participation, research and development and marketing. Our main avenue for outreach was a series of special events held throughout the year.
The initial event was a presentation by the Council at the monthly "Neighbors Meeting Neighbors" community dinner sponsored by the Normal Heights Community Planning Committee (NHCPC) where we introduced the Council and recruited members.
Other events included the Adams Avenue Roots Festival and the Adams Avenue Street Fair sponsored by the Adams Avenue Business Association (AABA). The Council also held a series of monthly performances in the Adams Elementary Park on Sunday afternoons during June, July, August and October. At each of these events the Council distributed information, visitors completed questionnaires and mailing lists were compiled.
For the monthly "Playin' the Park" events hundreds of posters and postcards were placed in local businesses and a minimum 10,000 flyers were distributed by kids from the Adams Recreation Center. In addition, the Adams Recreation Council was a partner and contributed $1500.00 toward printing and talent expenses. Most performers live in and reflect the community, ranging from African drummers to Zydeco. The attendance at these events ranged from 60 to 200 neighbors per month.
Furthermore, the Council published articles in special editions of the Adams AveNews prior to the Roots Festival and the Street Fair. The Adams AveNews is a marketing tool published by the AABA (circulation 16,000). The Council stories described our goals and objectives, promoted our programs and events, credited sponsors and solicited historic information and old photos of the neighborhood. Event listings were included in the Union-Tribune Night & Day and the San Diego Reader. The Council also has teamed up with the NHCPC to plan next years monthly "Neighbors Meeting Neighbors" dinners which are usually attended by at least 50 community members.
In addition to these events, the Council is developing a Cultural Assets Brochure (currently in the design phase with Calvin Woo & Associates), a Point of Interest/Walking Tour site map and is working with the NHCPC and the City to incorporate significant public art reflecting the community into the design of the new 39th Street Park. A Council newsletter is also being developed and is planned for both mailing and online distribution.
The regular meetings of the Council were well attended with a minimum of 12 members, neighbors, consultants and/or advisors per month.
Our challenges, like most other all-volunteer groups, include continued interest and participation as well as continued funding.
The Council constantly encourages neighbors to participate. Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:00pm in the Normal Heights Community Center, 4649 Hawley Boulevard. All meetings are open to the public.