Community Building

What’s Going On

One of our most exciting community-building activities is the annual Polish Hill Arts Festival. It’s grown into our biggest civic event of the year, drawing hundreds of residents and visitors to the intersection of Brereton and Dobson streets in the heart of Polish Hill. The festival’s creative spirit attracts people of all ages from all walks of life.

Arts festival audience

Many of the artists, craftspeople and musicians are from Polish Hill or neighborhoods nearby. The festival is in July each summer. Its creative, community spirit can be found throughout the year — on any given day just about any place in Polish Hill.

How We Got here

Community Building is one of four main categories of focus featured in our community plan. The goal is to bring people together, connect generations and improve the quality of life for all residents of Polish Hill. The neighborhood views people as its greatest asset and wants to build upon this resource by bridging any gaps that exist. There’s a strong relationship between projects in this category and those shown in Open Space & Art.

Group on steps of PHCA

Our Values and Vision

  • Vitality of the community is the core value supporting all neighborhood improvements
  • Let the life of the neighborhood shape the buildings and the streets
  • Celebrate the diverse character of all residents
  • How people interact determines quality of life as much as the physical environment does
  • Key ingredients are connectedness, hospitality, care, generosity and creative expression

 Community Guideposts

  • Encourage outlets for sharing talent and skills
  • Support cottage industries and entrepreneurship
  • Develop strategies to preserve history and culture
  • Strengthen connections with neighborhood organizations and adjacent communities

Project Priorities

Projects are created using the values and guideposts established during our community planning. Recommendations include:

  • Creating public spaces or third places for people to gather, featuring benches, tables or shelters
  • Developing a big indoor space for community events
  • Improving access to food within the neighborhood through community gardens and markets
  • Encouraging pop-up retail and shared workshop or office spaces
  • Promote new retail within Polish Hill, such as a green, self-service laundry

Learn more about community discussions, priorities and recommendations for Community Building (PDF).