DKI Announces New Name, New Community Leadership Opportunities

Dear community members,

Today we are reintroducing ourselves to the community we serve, with a new name, a new look, a new location, and a renewed commitment to growing a welcoming downtown for all. Downtown Kalamazoo Incorporated is now the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership.

For the past 29 years, we have worked with the City of Kalamazoo, downtown businesses, institutions, residents, community members, and other stakeholders to advance an aspirational vision for what our downtown can be. Those years have witnessed incredible growth and evolution in downtown. Likewise, as the area we serve has evolved, so must the way in which we serve it.

Over the course of 2018, we have engaged with local partner organizations in a series of working sessions, convened focus groups, and reviewed national best practices and community input provided during theImagine Kalamazoo 2025 Master Process (http://www.imaginekalamazoo.com/) to evaluate where we can most impactfully focus our efforts. Moving forward, we will have four primary impact areas; People, Place, Experience, and Growth, each with dedicated goals and metrics to track success.

Similarly, we have examined our existing leadership structure and organizational values. Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership seeks to broaden its leadership network and create opportunities for diverse stakeholders to be able to guide our programs, services and initiatives.

As part of this effort, the organization is launching Citizen Coalitions to help guide the organization’s work across the four primary impact areas. Each Coalition will have a different area of focus, but all work will be guided by six key values identified by the Board: inclusion, engagement, transparency, collaboration, transformation and innovation.

  • The Coalition for People will work to strengthen links with local organizations and engage the diverse Downtown populations. Members will focus on achievement of inclusive growth and engagement, soliciting feedback from local stakeholders, and identifying how initiatives can better serve the Downtown community.
  • The Coalition for Place will work to plan and implement an inviting environment Downtown. Members will help identify and prioritize key public infrastructure investments, including connectivity and mobility improvements, sidewalks, street furniture, lighting and wayfinding.
  • The Coalition for Experience will work to curate an engaging Downtown culture. Members will generate ideas for events, programs, and public art to bring people Downtown, and make creative suggestions to market the Downtown and its businesses.
  • The Coalition for Growth will focus on driving entrepreneurship and investment Downtown. Members will guide efforts to support existing businesses Downtown, attract new businesses, provide support to start-ups, and foster inclusive growth.

 Anyone with a vested interest in Downtown Kalamazoo is encouraged to submit an application to become a Coalition member. Applications are being accepted until November 16, 2018. More information on the Coalitions and an application for membership can be found at https://downtownkalamazoo.org/citizen-coalitions.

The future of downtown Kalamazoo is filled with opportunity. Your input and support is vital to the success of future services, initiatives and projects within downtown.

Please come visit our new shared location with the Jim Gilmore, Jr. Foundation at 162 E. Michigan Ave., located at the southwest corner of East Michigan Avenue and Portage Street. We look forward to engaging and working with you during this exciting time.

Andrew Haan
Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership President