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Announcing the 2021 downtown Rochester Start-Up Event Grant recipients

Media Contact: Katie Adelman
Rochester Downtown Alliance
Direct: 507-216-9886



Announcing the 2021 downtown Rochester Start-Up Event Grant recipients

ROCHESTER, Minn.—Six organizers were awarded a total of $11,000 through the Rochester Downtown Alliance’s Start-Up Event Grant to host a COVID-19 appropriate event, program, or activity in downtown.

Receiving Start-Up Event Grant funds are the following organizations and individuals:

  • $3,000: The Night Market by Tiffany Alexandria of Choochoo-ca-CHEW
    • With dates of July 17, August 21, and September 18, the night market is bringing a big part of Asian culture to the heart of Rochester. Night Markets are a part of daily life and entertainment across Asia. Enjoy a night filled with food, boba tea, games, arts, handmade products, and fresh produce, with a strong emphasis on Asian and black, Indigenous and people of color vendors.
  • $3,000: Pop-up Art Cart by Neon Green Studio
    • The pop-up art cart will be positioned at various locations downtown two to three times a week to offer free art and craft activities for visitors and residents. The art cart is a custom design and will contain all materials and equipment for a mobile art studio, including seating and a tent for shade when necessary.
  • $2,000: Creative Crawl by Beth and John Sievers
    • Rochester’s first Creative Crawl will be a weekend event featuring local musicians and artists interacting with a variety of downtown businesses and patrons. It will welcome all to enjoy art and music in a safe environment with no fee. Performances from musicians and live artists will be from 1-4 p.m. June 26.
  • $1,000: Mixed Precipitation Pickup Truck Opera by Rochester Art Center
    • Street theater pop-up performances will be offered at three locations in downtown. These performances set up quickly and meet audiences in their neighborhoods mid-day August 12 and August 13, with a full performance at 2 p.m. August 14.
  • $1,000: Be Well Roch by White Space
    • For one week (tentatively scheduled for August 21 to August 28) during August (National Wellness Month), White Space wants every person in the Rochester community to focus their attention on improving their overall wellness and creating a healthier lifestyle. They will work with local business community to provide the products, services, activities, and events to encourage this behavior change.
  • $1,000: Interactive LED Wall by Tim Massaro
    • This will be a large LED array of individually addressable lights enhanced by ping pong balls. The display will feature an “attract mode” (random changing colors and shapes to catch attention of passersby) and will be interactive as users move to desired locations near the display to change in response to their actions.

“The grant submission process was competitive this year, and the RDA is proud to support these new, creative, safe, and welcoming events to reactive our downtown,” said Kanika Couchene, RDA director of events & strategic partnerships.

Each submitted request was reviewed by RDA staff and juried by the RDA’s Activities, Culture, and Engagement Committee for considerations including mission alignment, COVID-19 safety, uniqueness, and minority engagement. RDA expanded the 2021 Start-Up Event Grant application to include passive programs (pop-up parks, public art installations, small music series, etc.) in addition to events amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Rochester Downtown Alliance
The Rochester Downtown Alliance is a nonprofit corporation comprised of a broad range of people representing property owners, business leaders, the city and others with a direct stake in enhanced business and economic development conditions in the downtown district. We work together to build a vibrant downtown community. We believe a strong core positively impacts the greater city of Rochester. Through a series of special events, activities, and initiatives, we create energy, excitement, and a unique character to Downtown Rochester, Minnesota.