With new restaurants, businesses, cultural venues, and the creation of second-story living spaces, downtown Mount Vernon is in a state of renaissance.
Buchwald Plaza, on the corner of South Main and West Gambier Streets, has been re-imagined into South Main Plaza, a space that brings new energy and increased vitality into the neighborhood, including creation of a whimsical new water feature focal point. Inspired by world-renowned landscape architect Claude Cormier’s fountain in Toronto’s Berczy Park, South Main Plaza’s fountain includes painted cast aluminum sculptures of 18 dogs, one cat, two pairs of birds, a pony, an apple and the coveted golden dog bone. Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a key partner in reimagining the possibilities in downtown Mount Vernon and is bringing the South Main Plaza concept to reality through a grant from The Ariel Foundation. To learn more about supporting the endowment at Knox County Foundation for the ongoing care and maintenance of South Main Plaza, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org; or to make a donation, please visit www.knoxcf.org and click the “Donate” button at the top of the homepage and select “MVNU South Main Plaza Fund” from the menu.
In 2019, a series of major technical upgrades was made to Knox County Memorial Building’s theater through grant funding from The Ariel Foundation. Included in this technical upgrade was state of the art audio visual and lighting equipment, plus a stage storage addition. This 1926 community asset houses an almost 1,000 seat theater that features a proscenium stage with an orchestra pit and a large projection screen. Area residents and visitors alike will enjoy high quality entertainment in Mount Vernon’s historic district for many more years to come.
The rebrand launch with the new name of Mount Vernon Music and Arts Festival https://www.mvmaf.org repositions this local festival as being more inclusive – from volunteers, committees, and board members to event attendees and featured arts, entertainment, and performers.
The festival held annually, the second weekend in August, presents a celebration of the arts; creating experiences that entertain, educate, and inspire, uniting artists and audiences within the historic backdrop of Mount Vernon, Ohio.
The funds from this grant not only assisted with offsetting marketing and design costs associated with the rebrand, but also provided much needed marketing dollars to improve signage, awareness, and activities.