NoDa continues to meet COVID challenges with creativity, compassion

NoDa neighbors & businesses,

What a year… On March 18th, I wrote an article for the April NoDa News titled “Staying positive during uncertain times.” NoDa’s residents and businesses – much like the rest of the city, country, and world – have endured a lot since then and, in many ways, the coming weeks and months are equally uncertain as those first days of COVID.

Within that April article, I stated, “NoDa is the strongest community I have ever been part of and that when we experience tough times, we persevere together.” Despite not knowing what would come, I knew NoDa was going to get through it together.

I wanted to share some of the amazing things I have witnessed since March in our community. NoDa’s strength since March can be seen by:

  • Our small businesses: Many of our small business owners completely reinvented themselves overnight. This was not just to provide themselves a stream of revenue, but also to keep their staff employed and fill needs for the community. Scott, Joey, Dave, and the NoDa Company Store family turned their beloved watering hole into a neighborhood grocery filled with local produce from vendors that saw business greatly decline due to restaurant closures.
  • NoDa neighbors reaching out with lending hands: Our neighbors have gone out of their way to support each other, our businesses, and the city’s most vulnerable. Whether it was a trip to the grocery store for a next-door neighbor, a donation to a local music venue that can’t open, or donating supplies for the homeless in Charlotte’s tent cities, NoDa neighbors have been there for each other.
  • Our commitment to art and our artists: The NoDa NBA applied for and received a $150,000 grant to help local artists and small businesses struggling with the impacts of COVID. We have approved more than 15 projects that will employ more than 50 artists. Artists and art make up a huge piece of NoDa and this is just one small way that we have supported them during this time.
  • A park honoring a NoDa legend: On October 17th, Clemson Avenue Park was renamed to Davis Flohr Neighborhood Park. Often referred to as the “The Mayor of NoDa,” Davis left us way too early in his life. The park serves as a reminder to all of us to live our lives like Davis, with fearless energy and unbridled kindness towards other people.
  • The opening of an art gallery on North Davidson: The TAC Gallery opened in the middle of COVID, selling local artists’ paintings, drawings, and other works. Artists from the Tough A$$ Crew came together in less than two weeks to transform the empty business to a flourishing gallery that supports artists from across Charlotte.
  • New ways to enjoy live music and support our venues: The Evening Muse and Neighborhood Theatre are cornerstones of NoDa. While they are not allowed to open, they have found new ways to keep the neighborhood filled with live music through online streaming and outdoor shows. Despite their own struggles, our venues have gone out of their way to support local musicians.

I could go on with dozens of other examples, but it is clear that we are persevering together.

As we look forward to more uncertainty, I ask that you all continue to look around for those who need help. These times continue to require positivity, creativity, and compassion. As I said in March, “luckily for us, I don’t know a more creative and compassionate community to get us through this period.”

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is anything I can do to support you – 980-313-2368.

Your NoDa NBA President,

Jacob Horr