By Okon Ekpenyong
Summer Jam West is a community grassroots art and music festival in the Hilltop Neighborhood, and it is an annual event, but the event took a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic.
The mission of the event is about bringing people together, and they wanted to have a community center event where members of the residents feel empowered to not only come and have fun but also be a part of all of the festivities.
Hilltop is in West Franklinton, and the Downtown area is one of the largest neighborhoods in Columbus. It does not always receive a standing ovation since some areas within the neighborhood have seen their share of problems. Hilltop Arts Collective, which sponsors the event, hopes to change that narrative and help bring positivity by creating a free mural on Display on Broad Street and Oakley Avenue in Columbus.
“It is Community driven effort, and there’s a lot of evidence that public arts can change how people see a particular community,” Danny Peterson, Board President, said. “Investing and beautifying the area can add attractions to help the neighborhood brings visitors and new residents.” With all the changes and improvements made to the area, they want the commercial and residential residents to be prouder of where they work and live.
“We are happy to see people attending in-person events again. Every year, we pick a theme that helps bring a different unique style to the festival’s mission,” Danny Peterson, Board President, said.
“Free to be” is the theme for this year’s event, meaning they are excited to see people returning to normalcy. The “theme” guards the festival, which includes “prominent public art displays in the Hilltop community.”
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