Realize Bradenton Wins Knight Cities Challenge

Community

BY PHILIP LEDERER SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING WEDNESDAY APR 1, 2015

Realize Bradenton officials and Bradenton community leaders celebrated last night with the announcement that Realize Bradenton’s community initiative, “ReuseReCONNECT,” has been named among the winners of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Knight Cities Challenge. Out of over 7,000 initiatives proposed from 26 cities across the country, Realize Bradenton’s initiative was one of only 32 selected for funding from the Knight Foundation, which challenged community leaders to create innovative solutions to foster community engagement and economic development.

The ReuseReCONNECT initiative strives to better utilize existing outdoor and vacant spaces as opportunities for community dialogue and civic engagement. Through a series of ‘Pop-Ups for a Purpose’ events set throughout downtown, key designer and creative associate for Realize Bradenton, Morgan Bettes, hopes to foster a new level of engagement among millennials and bring disparate voices into shared conversation for new economic opportunities. The initiative will receive $90,140 in funding from the Knight Foundation.

“We believe that Downtown is everybody’s neighborhood,” said Realize Bradenton executive director Johnette Isham, reminding the crowd that the younger demographic will soon be 75% of the workforce. “We’re going to rock Bradenton; we are laser-focused on economic development and how to attract the younger generation.”

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