64.6 Downtown is a private non-profit committed to building vibrant spaces. Formed in 2015, 64.6 is named for the number of squares (at the time) of the City. As downtowns are the heart and soul of a city, 64.6 believes what is good for downtown is good for Fort Smith.
64.6 was created to act as a catalyst for economic development in downtown Fort Smith through property development, creative place-making, arts, and events. By building on the momentum of current programs and spaces, 64.6 strives to inspire and engage partners through arts and arts education, place-making and other attractive amenities, as a means to accelerate development of a diverse economic commerce.
Initiatives of 64.6 Downtown include: Garrison Commons pocket park, Gateway Park, Propelling Downtown Forward Master Plan, the historic New Theatre, and the inaugural event of 64.6 Downtown, The Unexpected.
The Unexpected was created to capture some of the art space that already exists in Arkansas without duplicating what existing institutions were executing. When people challenged us “why Fort Smith” our response was simply “why not?”. Fort Smith has every right to be a part of the conversation of place-making and economic development.
The Unexpected brings unexpected art to an unexpected place. For the past four years, The Unexpected has invited world-class artists to create works of art in historic downtown Fort Smith. The event is curated by Justkids, a global creative house that curates and promotes comprehensive art project on an international scale.
The festival setting provides an intimate experience between the spectator and artist, creating a bond to the artist, the artwork, and the environment, as a unique experience found nowhere in Arkansas. Most importantly, The Unexpected gives the citizens of Fort Smith pride of place and a renewed dedication to building a healthy and sustainable community. www.unexpectedfs.com
The New Theatre was built in 1911 and modeled after the New Amsterdam Theatre in NYC. It was the premier entertainment venue of its day. Now owned by a private family foundation, 64.6 has worked with the expressed purpose of reintroducing this forgotten space back to the community.
Garrison Commons is Fort Smith’s premier pocket park and is a stellar example of a unique private sector partnership. Following the installation VHILS artwork, 64.6 contacted the lot owner and requested to transform the space from a burned out, unusable space on “The Avenue” into much-needed green space. Now the park hosts private events, concerts, food trucks in an open-air space.
Gateway Park is an initiative of 64.6, and private citizens, to create a dynamic and welcoming entrance into downtown Fort Smith. The park takes an existing empty storefront and underutilized greenspace converting it into a welcoming gateway into downtown where citizens can relax.
The Propelling Downtown Forward initiative is directed by 64.6 to foster downtown economic development. The masterplan includes sustainable growth in retail, attainable residential, increased bikeability, walkability and cultural spaces downtown.
The Propelling Downtown Forward initiative encompasses an in-depth analysis of previous downtown and city plans. In recent years, the emphasis has been placed in the Downtown corridor at the request of Fort Smith citizens. Propelling Downtown Forward complements the Future Fort Comprehensive Plan with a planning design that is executable while incorporating neighborhood stabilization and economic development. To see the plan, click #PropelFS