Create Little Rock, an organization for young professionals under the auspices of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, will host a charrette, a large scale brainstorming session where members of the community will be able to drop in and share their ideas and vision for the future of West Ninth Street, on Monday, July 6, from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.
PopUp West Ninth is the fourth installment of PopUp in the Rock, an initiative that aims to demonstrate what’s possible in inner-city neighborhoods that have been become car-dominated, deserted, and neglected. Past PopUp locales are Little Rock’s South Main Street in 2012, Little Rock’s Seventh Street in 2013, and North Little Rock’s Parkhill neighborhood in 2014.
From 1913-1960s downtown Little Rock Arkansas’s Ninth Street corridor was the center of civic and social life for the city’s African American citizens. Anchored by the Mosaic Templars Insurance and Fraternal organization (now the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center), the Ninth Street corridor was home to several churches, various civic organizations such as the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA, a wide assortment of businesses such pharmacies, grocery stores, hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues including Dreamland Ballroom, which hosted the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, and the Gem Theatre.
The Institute on Race and Ethnicity is excited to serve on the planning committee for PopUp West Ninth. The street festival will celebrate the Little Rock Ninth Street District’s glorious past through fun activities and exhibits, while temporary architectural installations will provide a glimpse into what could be a revitalized, vibrant future for the diminished but not forgotten corridor. The event will take place on Saturday, October 24, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and span from Mosaic Templars Cultural Center at Ninth and Broadway, to Dreamland Ballroom at Ninth and State and across the State Street overpass. For more information on the history of Ninth Street click here: West Ninth Street or check out the “City Within a City” exhibit at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center at 501 W. Ninth Street, Little Rock, Arkansas.