After a rocky couple of years, the Sunnyslope Village Alliance—which many people thought had disbanded—is now gearing up again, with new faces, and a new focus on serving the community.
The SVA for many years served as a quasi-chamber of commerce for the Sunnyslope neighborhood, helping to promote area businesses both within and outside the community. More recently, its mission statement was to “improve business, social, cultural, educational and recreational outlets within Sunnyslope.”
Caroline Lobo, a former SVA president and the only returning member from the old regime, says things were going great up until the end of 2015. After the last art walk was held in October of that year, several board members unexpectedly quite, and others, for personal reasons, were unable to continue to serve.
The result was a shuttered office, a disconnected phone, an inactive website (www.mysunnyslope.org), and a lot of people scratching their heads wondering what would become of the SVA. The future of the organization’s signature event, the Sunnyslope Art Walk, also seemed murky.
After nearly losing its nonprofit corporation status, the paperwork is now up to date (as of February), and the new officers are on record: Larry Macias, co-owner of Thirteennorth Grill, is president; David Feinberg, a commercial real estate developer and co-owner of the soon-to-open Baxter’s Cigars in Sunnyslope, is vice president; Candy Berkner-Frogozo, co-owner of North Mountain Brewing, is secretary; and Caroline Lobo, the only returning member, is treasurer. Currently there are five additional directors at large—but more members are being sought.
The group held an “Ice Cream Social” at the SVA office on May 6 to get input from community members and businesses on how the organization can now best serve the community. Their cumulative lack of experience on serving on this type of board understandably means keeping things to a slower pace as they figure out their purpose, and how best to achieve it. But most of the feedback they have received, so far, is to bring back the Sunnyslope Art Walk.
“The Sunnyslope Village Alliance has been proudly serving the community for almost 40 years,” said Macias. Plans are under way to present a more compact version of the Art Walk, the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 4 in the east parking lot of Sunnyslope High School, 35 W. Dunlap Ave. Artists interested in signing up for a booth can download the application from the SVA’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/MySunnyslope, and e-mail it to LarryM@13northgrille.com.
Feinberg says they have been reaching out to local businesses and community stakeholders and asking, “How can we help make Sunnyslope a better place to live and work?”
The Sunnyslope Village Alliance meets at 6 p.m. the first Wednesday of the month at the SVA offices, 755 E. Hatcher Road. Those interested in joining the board, or offering constructive ideas, are welcome to attend.