"The Renaissance in Over-the-Rhine" is a term you'll often hear around town (some would argue to the point of cliche). OTR is changing, that is true, but so too are neighborhoods around it. Covington is one of them. In fact, a nonprofit appropriately called Renaissance Covington is helping to catalyze positive change in our Northern Kentucky neighbor.
Its mission is to revitalize Covington's downtown area by organizing exciting things within the city, ultimately attracting as many people as possible to reenergize it.
The organization has been dutifully working to transform Covington's image into something warmer, culturally-rich, and creative. Renaissance Covington has even won awards for its work, executing a multitude of projects designed to enrich the city. One such honor includes the prestigious 2017 Great American Main Street Award, making Covington one of only three cities in the entire country to win that specific accolade.
And if you've been to Covington within the last couple years, you're likely already aware of Renaissance Covington's work.
PROJECTS THEY'VE HAD A HAND IN (AND STILL DO)
- 199C: a baseball-themed event held at BLDG around Cincinnati's Opening Day to commemorate the spirit of America's favorite pastime.
- Covington Farmers Market: an outdoor market from May to October that provides goods from local vendors at 3rd and Court Streets. In April and November, the market moves indoors thanks to a rotating list of sponsors.
- Flowers on Madison: flower planters along Madison Avenue that were planted and maintained by Renaissance Covington and its partners.
- NKY Pride: a parade and ensuing block party to celebrate the LGBTQ community.
- Perennial Gallery: a pop-up curated by Devan Horton which features a rotating selection of local artists.
- Summer and Winter Bazaars: July and December events that bring local makers together at Roebling Point to sell their products along with food and music.
- Curb'd: 2016 art installations built on parking spaces (called parklets) that included hopscotch gardens, speed bag punching, stationary bikes that power an outdoor theater, and more.
- 'You Are Here' mural: Phil Rowland's map of Covington mural on West 8th Street.
- Look Here! Covington: old photographs of historic places in Covington that were attached to street signs in the areas they reference.
WIRELESSLY GOING WHERE NO COVINGTONIAN HAS GONE BEFORE
Renaissance Covington isn't sticking with just beautification projects and events, either. They've partnered with Cincinnati Bell to launch a public WiFi network in the city's central business district by Spring of 2018.
The network's privately funded through grants and philanthropists. It'll include info on transit, places of cultural interest, lodging, and more.
"Public Wi-Fi offers a new dimension to our urban core by offering a public service while also strengthening public spaces. It opens opportunities for distribution of information and broader community engagement," says Katie Meyer, Executive Director of Renaissance Covington. "We are grateful for our partnership with Cincinnati Bell. [...] None of this could be possible without the generous support of The Carol Ann and Ralph V Haile Jr./US Bank Foundation, RC Durr, and a generous private donation."
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Renaissance Covington's offices are located at 2 W. Pike Street (41011).