One of our major strategies in achieving our goal of community stability is supporting key small businesses in the neighborhood. As part of this work and the community visioning we performed with volunteers from the area, we decided to hold the Jade International Night Market on an annual basis to give local businesses the opportunity to promote their businesses and generate revenue while creating a positive event that reflects the culture of the residents of the area. The event debuted in 2014, and was wildly successful, bringing approximately 20,000 people to the neighborhood to share in the culture and atmosphere of the neighborhood. In 2015, the event grew to include three times as many businesses and again brought residents together to share their culture and experience with their neighbors.
Our community also identified a strong need for community space in the Jade District where residents can gather and share their experiences with each other. With this need in mind, the Jade District and APANO partnered with Metro to lease a previously-vacant furniture store and turn it into community space. Since the Jade District and APANO moved in to the space, we’ve hosted several positive events including APANO’s Voices of Change event and the Jade International Night Market, turning a vacant eyesore into a vibrant space that is active and a community asset. While this space is temporary, the Jade District is committed to finding a permanent community space in the neighborhood to continue serving the residents of the area. Our community development work also includes working on a community garden at our local elementary school which provides the opportunity for growing healthy foods for residents and educating students of the elementary school about agriculture and eating healthy!