Revitalizing the Eastside

  • by Jordan Mixson
  • March 6, 2023

The Jaguars and the Jacksonville community have come together to revitalize "Out East," a once thriving Black community whose economic activity decreased due to unrest during the Civil Rights program.

The Jaguar Foundation has been a driving force with the , assistance of LIFT JAX, behind the beautification of the Eastside business district. To revitalize and rejuvenate the neighborhood, six public art murals were installed by professional muralists including local artists Chris Clark, Tatiana Kitchen, and Jarett Walker as part of the Jax Wall Project. With the help of community volunteers and local business owners, the Jax Wall Project, managed by Elena Ohlander, assisted in overseeing six stunning murals that reflect the people of this historic neighborhood. The project was joined by Florida's very own Zulu Painter from St.Petersburg, who created one of the masterpieces along The Ave. Thanks to these artists and the hard work of community members, the Eastside has been transformed into a vibrant, diverse community with beautiful art murals. To ensure the voices of the community of the Eastside historic neighborhood district were heard the Eastside Legacy Business Council was recently formed.

The Jaguars Foundation, in partnership with the ELBC, is spearheading the revitalization of the Eastside. With the help of volunteers, community members, and business owners, the area is seeing a resurgence. The organization has implemented beautification projects, including art murals and other public art initiatives, to add vibrancy to the district. They have also supported the development of new businesses and attractions, like the 9A Brewing Company, to draw visitors to the area. By providing resources and encouraging collaboration between business owners and local residents, the Jaguars Foundation and ELBC are working to create a unique and vibrant atmosphere that celebrates the history and culture of Jacksonville’s historic Eastside.

The Eastside of Jacksonville is poised to once again become a vibrant and active place that serves the greater community. The Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation has been instrumental in funding community projects aimed at beautifying the area. This includes the painting of art murals and public art installations throughout the neighborhood. Community leader Kady Yellow, who specializes in meaningful placemaking, has contributed many hours of doing the groundwork of connecting with business owners of the community, Jaguars Foundation, and Jacksonville Police to aid an effective strategy to revive key areas of the street.

Placemaking is defined as capitalizing on a community’s existing assets by intentionally planning and designing public spaces that promote happiness, health and general well-being.

Local businesses and entrepreneurs are also beginning to move into the area, offering products and services that serve the community.

To ensure the continued success of Eastside, there is a need for continued investment and volunteerism. Not a cosmetic solution but an empowering solution that enhances 2nd and 3rd generations of business owners supported by passionate locals.

There are many opportunities for individuals, groups, and organizations to get involved in the revitalization efforts. Local businesses are looking for volunteers who can help out with marketing and promotion. Community members have come together to form the Eastside Leadership Business Committee (ELBC) to bring together all stakeholders in the area to create a thriving, safe, and prosperous neighborhood.

The ELBC is always looking for new members and volunteers who want to make a difference. Interested individuals can contact President Avery McKnight directly at [email protected].

With continued investment, volunteerism, and support from all parties, the Eastside will soon be a destination for business, culture, entertainment, and fun.


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