Destination Downtown

Destination Downtown is the Creative Placemaking Initiative of Suffolk County that complements the County Executive’s Transit-Oriented Development agenda. Transit-oriented development (TOD) is a type of community development that includes a mixture of housing, office, retail and/or other amenities integrated into a walkable neighborhood and located within a half-mile of quality public transportation. 

Destination Downtown supports community arts organizations, including collectives, that embody artistic excellence and foster cultural participation in order to build vibrant communities, amplify the voice of underrepresented communities, and celebrate the diversity of Suffolk County. 

Through Destination Downtown, Suffolk County provides annual grants for creative placemaking projects in downtown communities that contribute toward their livability and help transform them into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core.

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Success Stories

 

Arts Fair at the New Wyandanch Plaza

The August fair was the first event held in the new plaza that sits between the apartment buildings close to the community’s LIRR station. The effort was a significant part of Wyandanch Rising, the massive public-private revitalization project for the area.

The free fair featured performances and lessons in the flamenco, tango, and Haitian dances by Sol Y Sombra and La Troupe Zetwal, as well as performances by bands Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could and the Christopher Dean Sullivan Trio. The latter group also held a workshop. In addition there was a performance and lesson by the Venettes Cultural Workshop, and a performance by Trio EKE, a Usdan alumni chamber music group.

There were also African-American relics and historical African art, and arts and crafts booths where attendees created a community quilt, painted, planted and did other fun activities. There were food trucks and MasterChef Junior contestant AJ Espinoza who did a meet and greet and gave a cooking demonstration. “Zooptopia” was shown to movie goers in the plaza.

A good time was had by all – further evidence that Transit Oriented Developments like Wyandanch can can be a real plus for our communities and culture by creating vibrant and diverse downtowns.