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Downtown Covington Business Owners, Promoters See Big Things Ahead in 2015

Renaissance Covington, a non-profit organization working to revitalize downtown Covington, will roll out its new brand and logo Friday as part of the 199c: Opening Day Art Event and Block Party hosted on Pike Street.

The new brand, #RCOV, “champions the organization's passion and focus on urban vitality, creative place making and community building,” according to a release from the organization.

The brand was created by Renaissance Covington board member Austin Dunbar, who owns the creative studio Durham Brand & Co. on Pike Street. Dunbar saw the project as an opportunity to develop a holistic brand strategy for the organization.

"I found it to be a tremendous opportunity to capture the great things happening in our city and elevate the brand to place that's reflective of Covington's fun, vibrant and diverse culture,” said Dunbar.  “Renaissance is a pivotal partner of progress for the revitalization of downtown, and I was excited to play a part in its momentum.” 

"The new brand reflects the diversity of projects and programs that we execute. It also reflects our sense of fun and creativity," says Renaissance Covington manager, Katie Meyer. "Our new tagline, ‘Renaissance Covington: Where Great Things Come Together,’ is a perfect reflection of how we approach our mission – through community engagement and partnership."

Renaissance Covington, which has operated the city since 2002, has been nationally recognized for its innovative projects and place-making initiatives as part of the National Main Street program. 

Collaboration and bringing new ideas into the urban core that foster social and economic progress have been the focus of the organization for over a decade.

Madlot, the pop-up performance park at the corner of Seventh Street and Washington Street, is one of the most visible recent these projects and was made possible by an impressive network of partners who came together to transform what had been an underutilized space in the center of the city’s downtown. 

The Madlot project was created to establish a public gathering space in the Pike and Madison corridor for outdoor events and was orchestrated by Renaissance Covington, MKSK, Keep Covington Beautiful, BLDG, Covington Arts, Art of Pike, DPT7, and the City of Covington. 

"Madlot is a successful example of how small investments along with community support can transform an underutilized urban space," said Renaissance board member Juliana Silveira of MKSK.  

Renaissance Board President Steven Bryant, who owns B-books and Kiki Magazine on Pike Street with his wife Jamie, says, "Renaissance works to change the perceptions of what's possible in Covington and yet preserve our unique identity." He believes that Renaissance Covington has been recognized nationally because of the organization’s proven ability to execute projects and bring activity to new or unused spaces. Some of these projects include the holiday pop-up shops, Covington-opoly, Park(Ing) Day mini-golf, CoSign, food truck frenzies, the farmers market, and RoeblingFest.

In 2015, Renaissance Covington will host a monthly outdoor music series at Madlot every third Thursday from May through October. The Madlot Summer Series will focus on diverse music and cultural arts. The Covington Farmers Market will also integrate into the Madlot Summer Series, offering a weekday farmers market in downtown Covington for the first time.   

The Covington Farmers Market, another Renaissance Covington initiative, launches May 2nd and is open every Saturday through October from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The market is located at 3rd Street and Park Place at Roebling Point.

In addition to the aforementioned projects, Renaissance Covington will be transforming the CSX underpass at Pike Street and Russell Street this summer thanks to support from The Devou Good Project, a Covington-based philanthropic group. 

Jim Guthrie, an architect at Hub + Weber and Renaissance Covington board member, describes the CSX underpasses as a "physical and psychological barrier bisecting Covington.” 

“Our project seeks to change that by claiming these in-between places and making them vibrant and active,” said Guthrie. The project includes painting, updating the existing lighting, and the installation of a Zen Garden in the interior triangle.

Renaissance Covington is also one of the city's biggest bike advocates. On July 12, the organization is hosting a 10-mile bike tour called “The Bike-Centennial Tour” in conjunction with the Cov200 events taking place during All-Star Game weekend. The tour will take riders through Covington's neighborhoods and includes stops at various iconic places or new project and development sites.

"I'd like to think that the real reward of biking is a greater appreciation for this wonderful life and city...and even better, an easy way to be a part of it all,” said Richard Hunt, board member, bike enthusiast and owner of Covington’s Roebling Point Books and Coffee. 

Aside from bike rides, farmers markets, place-making initiatives and other community projects, Renaissance Covington is also focused on retaining and growing downtown retail. In the coming months, in an effort to support small businesses in the urban core, Renaissance Covington will release the Center City Guide, produced in partnership with MainStrasse Village Association, Cov200, Covington Business Council, Covington Arts, TANK, and the City of Covington. This map and brochure is designed to help promote Covington's retail and restaurant businesses to residents as well as visitors, especially those in town for conferences, the All-Star Game, and other events.

Staff report/Image by Durham Brand & Co.