If you have not yet read the three acts of our most recent post on embracing the river, be sure to check it out in the Forum section. For those of you who have been following, I would like to point out two examples of brand-spanking new programmed events that attempt to capitalize on the river as part of our urban context.
The first is an event sponsored by the Rochester Symphony Orchestra & Chorale known as Coda. This musically themed event was inspired from direct participation in the river design charette. Jeff Amundson, Executive Director of the RSOC, immediately recognized the potential in snuggling up to the river and activating the space that is directly adjacent to it. As the RSOC's offices are located in the historic Riverside Building with a convenient patio space on the east side overlooking the Zumbro River, it was the most logical place to start.
The event which ran the last two evenings of Thursday's on First began at 8:00pm as folks were leaving 1st Avenue. On the patio at the Riverside Building was a jazz trio playing from 8:00pm to 11:00pm. A full service bar was set up with beer, wine, and spirits and plenty of tables and chairs spread around the area both along the riverwalk and on the patio. The first two events were a major success and the RSOC intends to continue the Coda event throughout the year, though not directly tied into TOF. If you happened to miss out, don't worry, a repeat performance is likely to occur yet this month on September 29th...
Which brings me to the next example which is the renewal of an event that has been dormant for a couple of years. The ARTWALK sponsored by the Rochester Downtown Alliance. This fall, ARTWALK is making a comeback more inspired and with an indirect, subtle homage to the river corridor. The Rochester Downtown Alliance along with downtown merchants and local artists present an evening ARTWALK;
"Enjoy the fresh air while you experience all the art and culture that downtown has to offer"
This time around the focus is heavily on the art and artists that are working to make the event a success, but the negative space that connects all of the various locations covering 14 blocks of downtown will enhance the experience in a way that only an urban setting can. The first event will take place September 29th from 5:00-9:00pm in the evening and feature both artists' work on display as well as a tour through downtown along the river and through the alleys that together form the cognitive experience of being in Rochester's downtown.
Both of these examples are a great first step toward embracing the river in our downtown. They can hopefully springboard into other arts and cultural events, entertainment, dining, sports & leisure, and many more attempts to activate and energize the riverwalk. Please spread the word if you think others might also appreciate participating in these or other events and mark your calendar for events such as these in the future to help increase our vital urban river corridor!