The concept was then brought to life thanks to a generous grant by SPARC (Student Philanthropists Advancing Real Change), the planning efforts of the Youth Advocates and Day One Summer Rose youth workers, and the support of a host of local partners, including Side Street Projects, Armory Center for the Arts, Light Bringer Project, Pasadena Habitat for Humanity, Peace Over Violence, Neighborhood Connections, Conscientious Projector, Art Center, YWCA, BikeSGV, SPARC, Boys and Girls Club Pasadena, the City of Pasadena, and Flintridge Center.
In particular, Day One would like to thank Side Street Projects for serving as the main location host for #Block9, and allowing our team to transform their dirt lot at 730 N. Fair Oaks Ave. into an urban beach and staging ground for the nine days of events. As the pictures below illustrate, the event was a huge success we hope to replicate and improve upon elsewhere in Northwest next year!
Many thanks to our partners, without whom Block9 would not have been a success!
Day 1: AQUA
Block9 kicked off with the creation of an urban beach on Fair Oaks Ave. 18 tons of sand, a big water slide, foam pit & yummy BBQ awaited community members who joined us on a warm Thursday summer evening. Neighboring businesses also lent a hand by providing additional power for the inflatable foam pit and water slide (Habitat for Humanity) and water for the slide.
Attendees enjoyed BBQ, healthy fruits/veggies, and refreshing flavored waters. Everyone also walked home with a special Day One "Live Loud, Do Something" tank top!
Day 2: Pachanga Pasadena
In planning Block9 community members, Day One Youth Advocates and their peers asked for a night of live banda music, food and dancing. After a lot of planning to fit la full, live band into our tight budget, we made it happen!
A concrete slab was transformed into a performance space and dance floor only a few feet away from commuters speeding home! Fresh tacos were served to keep attendees fueled for the dance. And a beautiful sunset framed the perfect start to the weekend.
Day 3: Community Summit
Local youth, residents and advocates convened at the urban beach to discuss NW Pasadena, urban planning, placemaking, and steps residents could take to activate and improve existing community conditions.
Following an interactive urban planning workshop facilitated by nationally-renown planner and Latino Urban Forum founder James Rojas, participants enjoyed a healthy lunch, before delving deeper into the concept of Placemaking. The day concluded with two teams conducting an observational survey of adjacent streets, and then sharing their ideas for potential improvements.
Day 4: Gospel Brunch
Sunday afternoon was set aside as a time for community, food and gratitude. The Armory Center for the Arts' "Farmory" - located just across the street from Side Street Projects - was transformed into a living, moving space with the re-purposing of a 40 year old army parachute into a shade sail thanks to the engineering expertise of volunteer John Hanks - a unique token of our appreciation that we hope the Armory's hard-working team of gardeners will benefit from in the hot days ahead.
Speakers included Demitria Woodruff, Northwest Commission Chair Michelle Richardson-Bailey, and Altadena-based Master Gardener Hop Hopkins.
Day 5: Artful Monday
Monday was a day of color, creativity, and community. a large group of YWCA students joined Art Center, Armory and Day One staff to beautify the neighborhood by completing a tomato themed mural at the Farmory, providing a vibrant, fitting backdrop to the site's growing live tomatoes and other vegetables.
Designed by a collaborative of Lightbringer Project, Art Center, and Armory Center for the Arts staff, the colorful mural is just the first of many that will, we hope, brighten a neighborhood with incredible potential.
Day 6: Service Tuesday
Time to roll up our sleeves and make our community a more beautiful place. Teams repainted a parking lot wall in preparation for a future mural, collected trash from the neighborhood, and transformed a patch of weeds and grass on the corner of Orange Grove and Fair Oaks into a drought tolerant succulent garden.
Plants were purchased locally from Lincoln Nursery and Pasadena Lawnmower Shop, a business on the corner of Marengo and Orange Grove that recently transformed a vacant lot next to their initial storefront into a lush, verdant nursery. Many thanks to all who came out to volunteer on the "hardest" day of the week.
Day 7: Game Day
Local youth and community members convened at the urban beach for a game and physical activity filled afternoon. Highlights included hours of beach volleyball, beach soccer, water weenie water fight, water balloon toss, frisbee, hoola hooping, bocce ball, and cooling off on a giant inflatable slip and slide!
Day 8: Bike Night
Free bike repair, helmets, s'mores and short films drew over 100 cyclists to Bike Night! Thanks to the support of BikeSGV and Peformance Bikes Pasadena, over 70 bikes were serviced free of charge by a team of 4 mechanics. While they waited, attendees played beach volleyball, snacked on healthy foods, enjoyed bonfire pits with s'mores, and watched an assortment of bike-related films showcasing bike-friendly cities, professional trials riding and mountain biking.
Day 9: Push Play Pasadena
Youth Music & Arts Festival
Local artists and musicians of all ages came together to create an eclectic evening to close Block9's series of events. Attendees enjoyed activities such as free henna tattoos, bracelet making, tie-dye, caricatures, photo booth, giant slide, and of course live musical acts ranging from acoustic guitar to hip-hop duos and dance DJs.