May the Storefronts Be Filled – Live on Western Avenue
Neighborhoods, and the streets that run through them, are the lifeblood of our city, the spaces where daily life unites with culture, art, and business. Streets like Western Avenue, at once owned by everyone and no one, are often an emblem of pride for the surrounding residents, but without investment can deteriorate into a blemish on the neighborhood’s identity. It’s a challenge and an opportunity. This is a story about a group of people who took on the responsibility of fighting for their corridor’s future, transforming Western from a street that you would drive through, to a neighborhood that you drive to.
Welcome to episode three of season three of South Bend on Purpose. This season we’re telling the stories of people who are betting on South Bend by investing new purpose into old spaces, whether that's an old industrial building or a once lively plot of land; people whose internal purpose has manifested itself into a physical part of our city – the streets, parks, buildings, and restaurants of South Bend.
Each episode tells the story of a space in South Bend, and the season is structured around a series of live events where we interview the people behind the projects.
On Wednesday, May 15th we hosted the second of these live events on Western Avenue, a West Side corridor home to a string of small, family-owned businesses including Chico's Restaurant, Taqueria Chicago, and La Rosita. We interviewed Sam Centellas, Director of La Casa de Amistad, and Scott Ford, former Director of the City's Community Investment office, who both played pivotal roles in the corridor’s transformation and economic resurgence.
Listen today and join us August 12th for our season three party at The Armory: