On May 6th, Van Ness Main Street hosted its first in-person annual meeting since 2019. Here is some of the news from the meeting:
Fundraising and grants: Van Ness Main Street raised a record $76,032 in 2021, and it has already raised $47,000 toward its $76,000 goal this year. The “Giving Tree” painted on the VNMS office window by board member Sam Wilson is a way to recognize donors. VNMS President Barbara Lardy added the owls, birds, butterflies, and leaves.
It’s money well spent. VNMS now serves 63 small businesses. The nonprofit organization, led by Executive Director Gloria Garcia, awarded more than $61,000 in grants to its businesses last year, and provided more than 1,000 hours of technical assistance, some of which helped the businesses secure another $200,000 in local grants.
The community showed up: Van Ness Main Street events including Movie Night in the Park and Art All Night attracted nearly 4,850 attendees. Volunteers worked 685 hours, some of those planting 3,000 bulbs and 500 live plants in the tree boxes along Connecticut Avenue, both to beautify and to create pollinator-friendly gardens.
Recognition: Wendy Bogart is the recipient of the 2022 Spirit of Van Ness award, created to acknowledge and celebrate community residents that have made a lasting impact on this Main Street. Bogart is a member of the VNMS Design Committee and the creator of the banners that now adorn streetlights along Connecticut Avenue. Zach Friedlis of Saul Centers was also recognized for his service as a board member who has been there since Van Ness Main Street’s 2016 launch.
Appreciation: The Sfoglina Pasta House in Van Ness was the only Fabio Trabocchi restaurant that remained open throughout the pandemic. A restaurant representative at the meeting credited the community’s support.
A new partner: In April, VNMS and Friends of Forest Hills Playground formally merged to ensure that the playground remains a vital place in our community and to maximize both organizations’ resources.
“Our first big endeavor will be Spooktacular in October that we hope will tie the businesses in our corridor with the families that enjoy the park,” Garcia told Forest Hills Connection.
(Forest Hills Connection became a program of Van Ness Main Street in 2021.)
Other upcoming events include :
June 15: Movie Night in the Park @UDC Amphitheater – Ghostbusters
June 22: Movie Night in the Park – Soul
July 13: Movie Night in the Park – Remember the Titans
July 20: Movie Night in the Park – Space Jam: A New Legacy
September 23: Art All Night with the Movie Night in the Park Finale – Encanto
Information on showtimes and where to register for free tickets are coming soon.