Officials from five Columbus neighborhoods met Feb. 24 at the Arena Grand Theater to unveil High Five, a project aimed at promoting the myriad arts and cultural destinations along High Street from German Village to the University District.
Five distinct neighborhoods.
Five miles of High Street.
No unification -- until now.
Officials from a quintet of Columbus neighborhoods met Feb. 24 at the Arena Grand Theater to unveil High Five, a project aimed at promoting the myriad arts and cultural destinations along High Street from German Village to the University District.
Jennifer Davis, marketing and communications manager for the Greater Columbus Convention Center, said there is much to promote: 150 places to wine and dine, 200 stores and boutique shops, 40 art galleries, 50 entertainment venues and 100 annual events.
Neighborhoods participating in the effort include the University District, downtown, the Short North, the Arena District and German Village.
"We realized we were willing allies all collaborating together," Davis said.
Officials agreed the districts' common thread is High Street, which will make it easier to promote accessibility.
John Angelo, former senior director of the Short North Business Association, said planning for High Five dates back to September 2007, after the Short North received a flood of attention from national and statewide media.
After representatives of other destinations were invited into the discussion, they discovered Columbus could promote an identity similar to the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Ybor City in Tampa and Bourbon Street in New Orleans, he said.
Angelo said the project does not have a big advertising budget, but officials are reaching out to travel writers and creating partnerships with relevant organizations, such as COTA.
Scott Heimlich, a High Five representative and owner of Barcelona restaurant in German Village, said that while it is important to send the message to audiences beyond Columbus, the five areas are also competing for attention with the suburbs.
"So if five districts can be grouped together, we do the marketing that say, Easton, does," he said.
Karen Simonian, spokeswoman for the Wexner Center for the Arts, said one of the benefits of the campaign is the relatively short distance between the districts.
"It's not that much territory," she said. "It's all compact."