A new Heritage, Pride, Prosperity historical plaque unveiling will occur at the bus stop on the southeast corner of 12th and Chicon at 11:30 am on Saturday May 12, 2018.
The Heritage, Pride, Prosperity series shares historical plaques and photos that honor and memorialize the living history and continued legacy of East Austin and of the East 12th Street Business District.
For the past 18 months, Capital Metro worked closely with over a dozen community partners who contributed to this project through storytelling and historical research to ensure the true cultural and historical essence was shared through this project.
“It was truly a community building experience where the organizations below came together to revive the remarkable stories of East Austin,” said Ericka Jones, Huston-Tillotson University Dean of Student Affairs. “Although from Austin, I learned a great deal more about the origins of East Austin and how it contributed to the make-up of the city. The contributions of the East Austin residents will be remembered as a result of this project and Capital Metro’s efforts to preserve their legacy.”
The East 12th Street Merchants Association, a partner in this initiative, is working diligently to support and advocate for East 12th Street business district merchants by creating a thriving cultural destination where the Eastside community can gather, eat, reminisce, hear music, shop and have fun.
The installation shares iconic and legacy businesses and operators including Shaw’s Garage, Harlem Theatre, Sam’s BBQ, King-Tears Mortuary and many more that serve as part of the business fabric and influence in east Austin and specifically in the East 12th Street Business District.
"The East 12th Street Merchants Association is a community of business owners and several residents (including several native East Austinites) of this historically rich and relevant part of the city. We united as a part of the Soul-y Austin initiative by way of the city's Economic Development Department to create merchants associations, said Natasha Harper-Madison, President of the East 12th Street Merchants Association. “We are so proud to be a part of bringing this event and others to the area and look forward to the resurgence of East 12th Street as a special destination for Austinites.”
The unveiling will be commemorated on the north and south sides of 12th and Chicon with community speakers and refreshments as part of the East 12th Street Merchant Association’s 12th on 12th, a monthly event that provides a day of business specials, shopping, food, activities, art – all in the rich cultural setting of historic East Austin.
A special thanks to the many community partners who made the installation possible including: Austin Community College, Austin History Center, Austin Revitalization Authority, Baptist Ministers’ Union of Austin & Vicinity, City of Austin Economic Development Department - Souly Austin, East 12th Street Merchants Association, Greater Austin Black Chamber, Huston-Tillotson University, Six Square, Souly Austin, and the Urban Land Institute.
Along with the monthly 12th on 12th happenings, the merchant's association and the City of Austin’s Souly Austin Program are working on projects in the District that further highlight the history and cultural context of the area businesses and are supporting district-wide celebrations for Juneteenth, Eastside Kings Festival in September and the Districts annual Return and Discover in October.
Souly Austin is a program of the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department that provides a flexible set of tools and resources to assist in the formation of merchants associations that will anchor Austin’s business districts. The program is designed to promote and support businesses of all sizes and types within the city’s commercial areas and corridors.
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