Coventry launches Final Fridays
Coventry Village kicked off its inaugural monthly Final Fridays event on April 26. Merchants offered discounts, and artists and nonprofits hosted events. Coventry Village Final Fridays are slated to take place year round, on the last Friday of each month. The next will take place on May 31. For information on upcoming Final Friday programs, visit www.coventryvillage.org.
Mallory Phillips, Coventry Village Special Improvement District’s executive director, said the concept was inspired by her experiences living in Los Angeles. “The downtown art walks would bring the small business districts alive with local artists, musicians, great food, and all sorts of shopping specials.” Phillips wanted to bring this lively community-centric vibe to Coventry. “It’s a great way to highlight all of the amazing dining, shopping and nightlife that is already there, while bringing in local artists to showcase their work and bring inspiration to the neighborhood in a new way,” said Phillips.
She hopes Final Fridays will become a lasting Coventry tradition. “We will be including more discounts, more music, more improv, more special offers, and more artists,” said Phillips. “The whole neighborhood is primed to be a vibrant and bustling creative community. Final Fridays is just one night a month to celebrate what happens here every single day.”
The kickoff event attracted plenty of foot traffic, and praise from merchants. Stephen Celeste, assistant manager at City Buddha, said, “People [were] excited when we [told] them about [the evening's] sale, because some of our merchandise never goes on sale.” Sarah Nemecek, owner of Studio-How-To, said there were first-time visitors wandering into her shop all evening. Carolyn Mraz, assistant manager at Cleveland Candle Company said, “An event like this brings people to the area. It gives people more of a reason to stop by—because everyone loves a sale.” Sheena Zilla of Record Revolution noted, “There were definitely more people on the street tonight, asking about Final Fridays—interested in the discounts.”
Visitors ventured in from other parts of Cleveland because of the event. Courtney McCrone of Ohio City came with her sister, who hails from Euclid. “I loved it,” McCrone said. “My favorite part might’ve been the improv group outside. It was such a fun, new and different experience. I felt like I was part of the neighborhood—something personal and authentically friendly.”
At Coventry P.E.A.CE. Campus, ARTFUL and Ensemble Theatre hosted an art exhibit and opening night performance, respectively. The building was abuzz throughout the evening.
Mostly a mom, Shari Nacson is a freelance editor, social worker, and nonprofit consultant who makes her home in Cleveland Heights. More than anything, Nacson is inspired by kids and adults who build connection through kindness.