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Old Englewood Village Association
home : features : old englewood village association
June 13, 2021

6/9/2021 2:54:00 PM

Todd Tracy, Secretary OEVA

Another holiday is behind us, Memorial Day, and for most of us, the weekend was long anticipated, respected and enjoyed. There is something special about a Monday holiday even if you are retired and all the days of the week have blurred into Sundays.  
Memorial Day was also a day of historic and current reflection, a family or social gathering where too much food was served, and if you were lucky, you drove home with some leftovers instead of cleaning up. Truly, America is a blessed nation despite the growing negative messaging that our media seems to enjoy. But now the real story; Memorial Day is also the official beginning of the lazy days of summer in Englewood.
Back in the 70’s, when I visited Englewood as a driving “adult” of seventeen, in my less than groovy 1963 VW bus, I spent the summer house sitting for my grandparents. As they traveled, I learned a lot about this town. In those days, the afternoon thunderstorms were punctual and the lightning was so ferocious that I would hide in my bus parked in their carport. The single gas station on Dearborn Street closed over the weekends and only the bravest of souls drove to Venice on River Road, which was lethally infested with mosquitoes.
Luckily, summers in Englewood are quite different now. They are full of opportunities to participate in just about any civic, social, or recreational activity you enjoy, instead of mosquitoes. One of those opportunities is back. Englewood’s Community Redevelopment Area Advisory Board (CRA) is resuming their monthly meetings at the Lemon Bay Park on the second Monday of each month at 1:00 pm.
Another is The Old Englewood Village Association (OEVA), which continues to host their Town Hall meetings every third Monday at 3:30 pm at The Open Studio (TOS), 380 Old Englewood Road. During those meetings OEVA does its best to listen and learn about the concerns and the goals of the community.
To bring you up to speed, Robert Reil, a business system analyst for a major bank, is now the President of OEVA. Evelyn Dales, the owner of the TOS properties, is our Vice President. Todd Tracy, despite his/my reluctance, is the Secretary, John Watson, manager of the Joe Max coffee shop on Dearborn Street, is the Treasurer, and Les Bernstein, the owner of the Rehab on Dearborn, rounds out the five active board members two seats remain open.  
The topic of our recent Town Hall meetings has been the Residential Commercial Transition Overlay district, known as the RCTOD, which consists of several specific blocks of homes directly north of Dearborn Street. The discussions have included re-branding the zoning district with a name that is fun, distinctive, and definitive, fitting of the opportunities the RCTOD offers.   
Evelyn Dales and her RCTOD committee, which consists primarily of property owners within the zoning district, with the help of Marie Laforge, the owner of Mango Bistro, came up with some fun names for the district.
After a lengthy debate, "Englewood Arts Distric" (EAD) was chosen. Englewood is clearly a place, so that worked. The word “arts,” is the focus of the RCTOD zoning, so that worked as well. Finally, the word “district” tied it all together. Per Marie, people are drawn to districts because they imply that there is a wide variety of goods and services to enjoy.    
Paraphrasing the committee, the name Englewood Arts District presents a more “wholistic” understanding of the zoning, bringing everything together. With some creative branding, the EAD could quickly be understood by the public as the valuable art destination that it is. Nothing changes legally, the naming idea is simply a marketing tool that OEVA will use in the future promotions of the RCTOD arts district.       
The second idea crafted by Marie was a logo, a cluster of four multi-colored hands. “…hands represent the connection to all the arts.  Along with fun and playful, it has meaning in that way.  We can also utilize the colors and different hands to further delineate the (sub) arts on maps or signage…” Marie described her logo idea as “…dynamic, colorful, unique, fun and easily recognizable once on signs and T-shirts”.
The OEVA Town Hall discussions are a great way to share and be heard. Summers are also a good season to kick around community ideas like this and many more because we all tend to have a little more time on our hands. So please join us by attending monthly, or stay informed by visiting our web site at www.OldEnglewood.com.

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