By DUSTEN RADER
GLOVERSVILLE — A single day of community action that included 88 acts positivity was successfully held in the city on May 4.
100in1 Day is an international movement currently held in more than 30 cities around the world, but Gloversville was the first city in the nation to host the event.
According to Downtown Development Specialist Jennifer Jennings, despite not reaching 100 acts, she still considers the day wildly successful.
“100in1 Day was an absolutely amazing event,” Jennings said. “It was so fantastic to see so many people out and about — downtown was packed. Every person you saw on the street had a huge smile on their face.”
Jennings noted that what she finds most amazing is that all 88 acts were created by and for the community itself.
“Someone said to me it was an opportunity for people within the community to do the things they always wanted to do,” Jennings said. “The whole purpose of this event was to create positive energy, action, and to have people follow that through the course of the year. We are all now empowered and engaged and know that we can make change.”
For Jennings, the most impressive act she witnessed was the volunteer cleanup at the Glove Theatre.
“I am impressed with and proud of the Glove Theatre,” Jennings said. “They opened their doors for two days and had a massive cleanup. They had hundreds of volunteers — some planned and some off the street. It got the community excited and ready to see it open again, but also gave them ownership. The Glove is a cornerstone of downtown and the physical embodiment of our hopes and dreams.”
The event was one aspect of Jennings’ task of helping revitalize downtown Gloversville. It is an example of placemaking, which is a bottom up approach to creating sustainable change.
“A lot of people think revitalization is bringing in big business or a major rehab project, but the truth is sustainable change is slow,” Jennings said. “It’s one person at a time doing one good act and inspiring another person to do another good act so that we have a social fabric that is encouraging, empowering, and kind to everyone in the community. That’s what placemaking does, instill a sense of ownership, pride, and the ability to take chances to create the vision you have.”
In conjunction with 100in1 Day, a placemaking dinner was held on May 2 at the Eccentric Club. It featured speeches by Corning Intown District Management Association Executive Director Coleen Fabrizi and Gloversville Councilman-at-Large Steve Smith. It also included the presentation of the first Placemaker Award to Michael Medina, owner of the Fulton County Barbershop.
The goal is to host 100in1 Day again next year and make another attempt at 100 acts. But, in the meantime, Jennings noted that area residents can now look forward to events such as the Southern Adirondack Food and Wine Festival on June 1 as well as Bacon Jam on Sept. 28.
For more information, visit downtowngloversville.org, email email@example.com or call 518-725-7700, ext. 1004.