Our 8th annual Open Streets Nashville, presented by Amazon, was Sunday October 22nd on Arthur Ave. This year’s event was in conjunction with the Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure and the North Nashville Culture Crawl. The day was filled with great art, nice weather, fun activities, and a community enjoying the street as a reclaimed public space!
Many exciting organizations and activities were present on Arthur Ave. The day began with a kickoff featuring Mayor O’Connell, Council Members Jacob Kupin and Brandon Taylor, NDOT Director Diana Alarcon, Walk Bike Nashville’s Executive Director Meredith Montgomery, and a special performance from the Hadley Park Line Dancers. Attendees were able to help paint an awesome community mural with Ozzy Orozco and the Civic Design Center. Other activities throughout the day included a Sunday Dinner and performances from Liberated Grounds, coffee and conversation with Soul’d 615, games and a fish fry with Royal Table Inc, plenty of books and resources provided by the North Branch of the Nashville Public Library, and an amazing fence art installation- design courtesy of Charles Key. Our partners with the North Nashville Arts Coalition also came out with a huge community painting! And with a generous donation of treat bags and Bombas socks from Dixon Memorial Methodist Church, the day was filled with gifts for everyone.
We are very appreciative of all our partners who were there, and want to highlight all the great groups we had with us:
- Haunted WeGo bus and bike racking with the Oasis Center’s WeGo Public Transit Youth Action Team
- NDOT and Fairpointe Planning
- Free bike rides with Nashville BCycle
- Improv games with Unscripted
- Mural installation with Ozzy Orozco and the Civic Design Center- sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas
- Wreath decorating, coffee and conversation with Soul’d 615
- Leaf printing with Buchanan Arts
- Community art project with the North Nashville Arts Coalition
- New local restaurant Tio Fun
- Music with DJ Faith
- Renters Union Nashville
- Local restaurant Buds and Brews
- Informational materials courtesy of Empower Tennessee
- Nashville Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of TN
- Barge Design Solutions
- 37208 Community Building
- Local food truck The Pepper Pott
- Activities with Network for Sustainable Solutions
- Kreate Hub Nashville
- TN Community Engaged Alliance (TN CEAL)
- Urban Green Lab
- Shirt Tie-Dying with SmART MODEL
- Books, gardening seeds and tips, activities with Nashville Public Library-North Branch
- Free scooter rides with Lime Scooter
- Metro Nashville Community Oversight Board
- Nashville Farmers' Market
- Open Table Nashville
- Information and merch from Urban Bicycle Food Ministry
- Royal Table Inc
- The Contributor Newspaper
- Sunday Dinner with Liberated Grounds
- Guided Meditation with Nashville POC Sangha and Black Mental Health Village
- Performances from Living Lavash Divas
- Kickoff featuring the Hadley Park Line Dancers
- Spoken word performances with Po’ Boys and Poets
- And all the amazing community members that came out!
In its most basic sense, Open Streets blocks the street to cars, and opens it for people to use the space as they like- walking, biking, gathering, anything! It may appear like a street festival, but Open Streets is more than that. We use the event as an opportunity to provide neighborhoods with more space than if cars were present. Streets make up 30% of our public infrastructure, and hosting Open Streets uses this space to bring a community together. With Arthur Ave being one of the only streets in the neighborhood physically intact after the construction of I-40, we were glad to have a chance to open this road back up to the people of Nashville. This opportunity allowed us to highlight the connection between major North Nashville streets Buchanan and Jefferson, and we hope to continue to acknowledge Nashville’s history while promoting its potential to become more walkable, bikeable, and liveable.
Many cities host their own Open Streets, from NYC to San Francisco– Philadelphia to Bogotá! Open Streets have been shown to improve social, mental, and physical well-being by providing an opportunity to be outside, meet neighbors, explore the community, and be physically active; all while improving perceptions of safety. The presence of Open Streets makes everyone safer– with cars, pedestrians, and bikes given the space they need.
We want to thank our partners, sponsors, and everyone who came out to enjoy the day in the street. We are looking forward to having more frequent Open Streets events in Nashville, working with neighbors to make streets safe, accessible, and fun for the people–instead of just for cars. If you’re interested in seeing an Open Streets in your neighborhood, fill out our Open Streets Interest Form! To see photos from the day, check out our Facebook photo album and watch our Open Streets Nashville 2023 recap video here.
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