Following work in the summer on documenting the history of Wall Street and downtown Norwalk, Norwalk 2.0 is developing a video documentary that will tell the story of how the city's historic downtown has evolved, and where Norwalk 2.0 would like to see it go.
Following the screening of the SoNo-centric "Survival of a Small City," a discussion took place about what, if any, impact the focus on SoNo had on the survival of Norwalk Center. The project aims to explore the themes of creative place-making and how opportunity to make something happen can start now.
Norwalk 2.0's project "FACES of Norwalk" is designed to ignite activity in downtown Norwalk and bring back a sense of community and pride in the neighborhood.
Wall Street, which connects the east and west parts of Norwalk with a bridge over the Norwalk River, had been a vital part of Norwalk's growth until the 1955 flood. Norwalk 2.0's ongoing project aims to capture the cultural significance of the history since that point, and has created programs and projects that have brought attention to the area.
"We like to tap into new tools and technology to tell Norwalk's story and of course our take on it," said Jackie Lightfield, co-founder of Norwalk 2.0. "We had a great response to our Norwalk Listens Survey video, and knew we were on the right track with this form of story telling."
Co-founder Maribeth Becker added, "Community building means being accessible. This video is a longer format for us to bring all of the great stories about downtown Norwalk to life."
Norwalk 2.0 tapped The Preferred Group, a media firm founded by recent mayoral candidate Vinny Mangiacopra, to produce the documentary.
"There is no question that Wall Street has played a significant role in Norwalk's past," he said. "This project will not only pay respect to its history, but more importantly, show a vision of how the Wall Street corridor can be a thriving place for innovation in the future. We're excited to collaborate with Norwalk 2.0 on bringing this to life."
Linking the past with the future, the "FACES of Norwalk" project received funding support from the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, as part of the Arts Catalyze Placemaking Arts Leadership Implementation grant program.
Norwalk 2.0 is part of a growing national movement that leverages technology to increase social engagement and participation in communities. Becker and Lightfield founded Norwalk 2.0 in summer 2010 to address needs in Norwalk after extensive work as civic leaders.
For information, visit www.norwalk2.org.