4.24 Square Miles of Culture
The City of Mount Vernon is a culturally diverse, intimate 4 square miles of a city just north of New York City. Mount Vernon was home to illustrious creators and pioneers including Nina Simone, Denzel Washington, Dick Clark, author EB White, and Hip-Hop artists DMX and Heavy D. Still, the city was often unrecognized, and in 2018, its leadership sought a change.
The City of Mount Vernon Department of Planning and Community Development engaged CJAM to develop an Arts, Culture and Heritage Master Plan. The City did not have a full understanding of its historic landscape and yearned to establish its own identity in the towering shadow of New York City. CJAM took stock of existing assets and highlighted opportunities for growth and development, in concert with the City’s existing plans and framework. Over six months, CJAM worked closely with the Planning Department, funding partners, local businesses and community constituents to research and outline 23 key strategies for developing arts, culture and heritage in Mount Vernon.
“This Master Plan is the result of the tireless eﬀorts of our community residents and stakeholders who are dedicated to revitalizing the City and providing a platform for artists to live, work and showcase their talents….” – Chantelle Okarter, Planning Commissioner
· Arts, Culture and Heritage Master Plan
· Community, commercial and funding stakeholder engagement
· Local and national arts industry research and analysis
· Zoning, traffic and infrastructure analysis