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Bingham Fellows create three projects to reinvent downtown

The plans include beautifying urban spaces, bringing art to neighborhoods, and supporting Black-owned businesses.

Grid of 47 headshots of people.

The Bingham Fellows program was created in 1988 via a $500,000 endowment from the Mary and Barry Bingham fund.

Photo provided by Leadership Louisville Center

The Bingham Fellows Class of 2022, a Leadership Louisville Center program, released its initiatives — and it’s all about reviving downtown Louisville.

“Moving Downtown Forward: Adapt & Reinvent” was the focus topic for the class made up of 40 select community-leaders from local organizations like Metro United Way, the Parks Alliance of Louisville, and Simmons College of Kentucky.

Over the course of last year, these Louisvillians explored solutions to reinvigorating Derby City’s downton landscape post-pandemic and created three projects to bring positive change to the city’s urban core. Here’s a look at the three projects, which you can hear more about in person on Thursday, March 9 at the LeadingBetter Summit at the Kentucky Center.

Plaza with trees and people walking

A rendering of the first CitySpot launching this spring adjacent to Metro Hall downtown.

Photo provided by Leadership Louisville Center

🏞️ CitySpots

Based on studies that show physical, mental, and environmental health benefits from people spending time together outdoors, the Bingham Fellows launched this project with the hope of turning underutilized sidewalks, plazas, and other outdoor spaces into more defined and welcoming areas for people to gather.

Potential sites are proposed along Main and Fifth Streets with the first CitySpot launching this spring near Metro Hall.

🎨 LouMoment Maker

This project aims to make the process of making art throughout the city — think: murals and other public installations — simple. Once it launches, the Public Activation Guide will be available on Louisville Metro’s website to help communities and individuals understand what it takes to make their neighborhoods an art destination.

Two people holding shopping bags.

MELANnaire Marketplace was created with the once thriving Walnut Street Black business district in mind.

Photo provided by Leadership Louisville Center

🛍️ MELANaire Marketplace

This collective of Black-owned businesses aims to support the growth of Black store owners by creating downtown retail opportunities. It hosts a monthly market day at Fourth Street Live! showcasing vendors. The next one is on Sunday, March 18.