COVID-19 Community Response Roundup: Light Up the Night & Virtual Dance Parties

March 26, 2020 | COVID-19 Community Response Roundup: Light Up the Night & Virtual Dance Parties | By: Abby Armato, Communications Coordinator, NMSC | 

Copy_of_Copy_of_3_26_Blog_Image.pngLakewood Alive rallied their community to hang up lights around town as a sign of solidarity as part of their Light the Lakewood Night event. (Photo credit: Lakewood Alive)

The COVID-19 Community Response blog series features ideas and approaches that local Main Street America programs are taking in response to the pandemic. We will be posting these roundups frequently throughout the duration of the crisis. To view the full collection of roundups as well as access our robust collection of coronavirus-related resources, please visit our COVID-19 Main Street Resources webpage.

Light Up The Night. Lakewood Alive is encouraging their community to spread light during these unprecedented times. As an act of solidarity, Lakewood Alive in Lakewood, Ohio, is asking residents to string lights around their porches and apartment balconies in an event called Light the Lakewood Night. “Light the Lakewood Night represents a simple way for community members to demonstrate that we are in this together,” said Ian Andrews, LakewoodAlive’s Executive Director. “Lakewood has always been a community of front porches, and now’s a great time for us to put these porches to good use to offer fellow community members a sign of hope during challenging times.” Thanks for lighting up the night, Lakewood!

Virtual Dance Party. Richmond Main Street Initiative in Richmond, Calif., shared a virtual dance party hosted on Instagram live by a local dancer. The party opened with an Afro Dance class, and was a way to join the community together through movement.

Experiential Retail To Go. Many businesses are turning their experiential retail activities into to-go kits. In Texarkana, Tex., Main Street Texarkana is promoting their local bakery's new cookie decorating kits. These kits come complete with cookies, frosting, and additional supplies to take home and share. Culpeper Renaissance Inc., in Culpeper, Va., is sharing new painting kits available from their local paint-and-pour store. These kits include pre-traced canvases, brushes, and paint—plus they provide an excellent excuse for adults to #SupportLocalSafely and purchase wine from local downtown cellars!
Posters of Positivity. Downtown Albany in Albany, Ga., created posters with positive quotes and sentiments of support to hang up around downtown. Their colorful signs are now proudly displayed in the windows of local businesses and downtown buildings. "Life is tough, but so are we," reads one of the sprawling signs. Great words of encouragement, Albany! 

#TheFrontStepsProject. Professional photographers in Connecticut Main Street Center programs have found a way to continue shooting during social distancing, but with a twist. Photographers are offering to take photos of families on their front porch—maintaining a six-foot distance, of course. Families can sign up for appointment, after which they are sent digital copies of their photographs. The twist: families are then asked to make a donation to a charity of the photographers choosing. #TheFrontStepsProject was by Boston photographer Cara Soulia and marketing consultant Kristen Collins. Their hope was to bring their community of Needham, Mass., together virtually. "We aim to highlight the faces of our community during a time when we might not see them in passing at the grocery store, coffee shop, on the train or at the gym," their website explains. 

We look forward to sharing more Main Street community responses. Please fill out this form if your community has implemented an idea or approach you'd like to contribute.

Community Responses Across the Map

View our growing collection of community responses across the Main Street America Network using the interactive map below.