Mariposa Plaza lies at the heart of downtown, at the cross roads of the High Speed Rail (HSR) Station, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station, and the newly
restored Fulton Street. This is such an important place in the center of our city, that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has issued a $150,000 grant to install new artwork at the plaza in 2017.
We see all of these investments as an incredible opportunity to upgrade and improve the plaza so it can be used as a true public square and a space to showcase our community to residents and guests alike.
Please take a moment to learn about Mariposa Plaza and to share your thoughts on how to make this a vibrant, active public space for all to enjoy.
About Mariposa Plaza
Mariposa Plaza is a 12,000 SF performance and gathering space marked by a free speech stage, a 60’ clocktower and a handful of shade trees. The community has long been interested in improving the design and function of Mariposa plaza to better accommodate community and cultural events. Many of the plaza’s amenities are in disrepair: electrical outlets do not function, concrete walkways and the free speech stage are crumbling, and the 50 year old benches, lighting, and sound systems have mostly been removed due to disrepair.
With HSR’s estimating that 1.7 million people will ride each year from Silicon Valley to the Central Valley, it is absolutely imperative that a visitor’s first impression of Fresno is a good one. Mariposa Plaza, located just 1 block from the HSR station on the way to BRT, dining, entertainment, and local shops, is in an idea position to serve as the city’s welcome mat.
Equally important, Mariposa Plaza is in the heart of downtown, in the heart of our city. By its very nature, it is a true public space, accessible to all. This is a space that should be used to showcase our city’s diversity, culture, history, and industry. It should be a place for people to gather, to celebrate, to play, to relax, to create, and to interact. There are so few places that truly belong to everyone in the city, no matter where they live or what they do. But a public space in the heart of the city, is a place for all people to gather and connect, and to celebrate our common bond as Fresnans!
Community leaders, City officials, local businesses, and Fresno residents have been sharing ideas and input for the potential redesign of Mariposa Plaza. We’ve held community meetings, received expert technical assistance from the American Architectural Association’s Sustainable Cities Design Academy in both 2012 and 2016, and we’ve gathered feedback at community events.
At the 2016 Fiestas Patrias celebration at Mariposa Plaza, we invited kids to draw their vision for what they’d like the plaza to be. Click HERE to see their beautiful drawings!
We want to hear from YOU
Please take a moment to complete this brief survey. Think about places you love and other cities you’ve visited. What made them special? What made them fun and interesting? Think about times when you said “you know what they should do” or “wouldn’t it be great if” and finish that sentence in this survey. This is your chance – dream big! All ideas will be considered!
Take the brief survey HERE
Mariposa Plaza in the news
National Endowment for the Arts
City of Fresno
The Business Journal
American Architectural Foundation 2012 Sustainable Cities Design Academy and 2016 Sustainable Cities Design Academy
Applications for Downtown Academy Class 5 are now closed
Current class members can pay tuition fees at class via check payable to Downtown Fresno Partnership, or pay online here:
What is Downtown Academy?
It is a collaborative program designed to connect key business, government, and community leaders with forward-thinking young professionals to explore downtown Fresno, how we got here, and where we’re headed next.
Downtown Academy is essentially a 10-month “class” on downtown Fresno that is offered to members of Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals (FLYP). The class meets one evening each month, touring downtown projects and hearing from community leaders about obstacles and opportunities in our city center.
We visit cool places, eat great food, and make great connections.
What are the four pillars of Downtown Academy?
- A class curriculum that explores the complexities of urban renewal
- An overnight field trip to other cities to help visualize successful revitalization strategies
- Completion of a class project that directly advances revitalization efforts
- Become a downtown champion and member of a tight-knit group that supports vibrancy, innovation, advocacy, and partnerships in our downtown!
What is the timeline for Downtown Academy?
August – Application period and class list announced
September – Class 1: Fulton Mall Tour
October – Class 2: Field Trip (overnight, Fri/Sat)
November – Class 3: ArtHop (first Thursday)
December – Class 4: Lofts/Mural District
January – Class 5: Historic Theatres
February – Class 6: South Stadium
March – Class 7: Chinatown
April – Class 8: Lowell Neighborhood
May – Class 9: Sports, Entertainment & Nightlife
June – Graduation
*Classes take place from 6pm-9pm on the first Wednesday of each month, except October and November classes (overnight field trip, and ArtHop).
Additional time may be required to complete the class project.
Is there a fee?
Yes. $350 pays for your dinner at each of the 10 classes, as well as travel and lodging for the overnight field trip. There are no refunds under any circumstances.
When is the fee due?
You can pay in full (preferred) by the first class or in installments: $150 (due September) + $100 (due December) + $100 (due April).
Checks can be made payable to Downtown Fresno Partnership or pay online at www.downtownfresno.org/DTA
Are there refunds?
No. Never. Not for any reason. Your class fees go towards food, travel, admissions, and lodging throughout the entire 10-month program. We pay many of these expenses up front and we are charged whether you are there or not. Unfortunately, we cannot give refunds.
Do I have to attend all 10 classes?
Yes. By agreeing to participate, we expect that you will be present for all 10 classes. If you cannot be present on the dates listed above, you should consider leaving that spot for someone else who can commit. FLYP, Downtown Fresno Partnership, and your classmates expect that you will fully commit to attending all class days from start to finish. If you have a conflict, please contact Downtown Fresno Partnership to discuss your options.
Please note that attendance at the field trip is absolutely required. No exceptions.
Failure to attend the field trip will result in immediate forfeiture of your space in the class.
You will not receive a refund.
What’s in it for me?
Downtown Academy is a great opportunity for FLYP members to become more involved in and informed about the downtown community.
You’ll hear incredible stories from local business owners, explore spaces you didn’t know existed, and view the city from the tallest buildings. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of city planning, placemaking, and urban desig. You’ll create a tight network with other young professionals who are committed to Fresno’s future, dine at a variety of downtown restaurants, and work together on a class project that directly impacts downtown’s revitalization.
What should I expect on a typical class day?
Plenty of walking, learning, and fun! At 6 pm, we depart the designated meeting spot and spend the next two(ish) hours visiting downtown sites: theaters, historic buildings, offices, tunnels, galleries, lofts, and more. At each stop we talk with business owners, community leaders, artists, visionaries, executives, and residents about their unique perspective of downtown Fresno. We finish the evening with dinner and a group discussion to plan the class project and discuss what we’ve learned. Class takes place rain or shine, hot or cold and we walk a lot. We will do our best to make accommodations for any class members with unique physical or health needs.
What can I expect on the field trip?
This is an overnight trip. We leave early Friday by bus and spend the day touring various downtowns followed by a group discussion over dinner. We spend the night in a hotel, and then continue touring Saturday morning. We wrap up with lunch and then it’s back on the bus to Fresno. We walk a lot. Class members are paired two per room. All class members ride the bus to and from our destination cities. The bus trip is an unique experience where class members really get to know one another, build relationships, and become friends! Your fee pays for travel, lodging, and Friday dinner. Breakfast and lunches are on your own.
How do I apply?
Applications for Class 5 are now closed. Applications for Class 6 will open in 2017
I have more questions. Who can I talk to?
Bianca Camara at the Downtown Fresno Partnership will be happy to answer any questions: email@example.com
Downtown Academy was established by Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals (FLYP) in 2010 to answer the question: How do we make downtown Fresno a vibrant place to live and work? Four classes have now completed Downtown Academy resulting in amazing discussions and discoveries, transformational class projects, and producing some of our city’s best and most influential advocates. This program showcases the very best of FLYP’s guiding principals to LEAD, SERVE, CONNECT and was referred to as “one of the best programs to come out of the revitalization movement” by Mayor Swearengin (3.3.2016).
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
|Jason Geil, Chair
Tom Richards, Immediate Past Chair
Will Dyck, Vice Chair
Ken Ramos, Treasurer
Hilary Haron, Secretary
The Board of Directors meets six times per year on every other third Wednesday at 8:30 am. Remaining meeting dates for 2017 are listed below. All board meetings are open to the public and meeting agendas will be posted at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.
12/14/2017 (Date moved up one week to accommodate holiday schedules)
February 16, 2017 Annual Business Meeting
March 28, 2017 State of Downtown
To obtain copies of past board meeting minutes, please send us an e-mail request.
How it Works
The Downtown Fresno Partnership is defined as a Property-based Business Improvement District (PBID). California State Law defines PBIDs in the California Streets and Highways code 36600 as a property and business owner collaborative forming a partnership between the public and private sector, organized for the improvement of a specific commercial area. In this structure, the property owners determine the boundaries of the PBID and how much they are willing to spend to allow for the services they desire in the district. A PBID provides services over and above those provided by the city. A PBID is governed by a private non-profit corporation made up of the property owners.
All funds raised are returned to the private non-profit corporation governing the district, which is responsible for managing the district and delivering district services. PBIDs have a defined life, which cannot exceed five years, pursuant to the PBID law. Property owner support is required for renewal and the formation process must be followed. The Downtown Fresno Partnership was established on January 1, 2011 and was approved for renewal in 2015.
Who We Serve
Through leadership, partnership, and advocacy we serve the City of Fresno, the business community, Fulton Street and other downtown merchants, public and private agencies, and the community at large.
A map of downtown is to the left. The properties included in our district are the ones identified as Zones 1, 2 and 3. Click on the map for a larger downloadable map.
The Board of Directors for the Downtown Fresno Partnership represents a diverse selection of community members, united in their passion for a revitalized downtown Fresno.
What We Do
The Downtown Fresno Partnership is leading downtown Fresno toward its future as a vibrant hub of business activity by promoting downtown’s image; supporting physical improvements and development; advocating for merchants; and hosting special events that bring new life to the historic core of our city. Specifically, what do we do?
- Work to improve the downtown physical environment by:
- Improving signage and adding banners
- Removing litter and installing/maintaining new garbage receptacles
- Adding new landscaping and improving existing landscaping
- Deploying 24-hour private security to work in tandem with Fresno PD
- Understanding the resources available for the homeless/transient population and working to mitigate the impact on the downtown business community
- Working with the City of Fresno closely to address any maintenance or repair issues
- Strengthen the downtown business community by:
- Publishing quarterly updates on business development and investment
- Hosting a regular speaker series that addresses common business concerns – Downtown Investor Series with Veronica Stumpf
- Creating a business network that encourages exchange among businesses
- Becoming a conduit between property owners, brokers, business owners and the business resources that create viable business opportunities
- Marketing downtown as a whole and the business community through various promotions, networks, events, social media and internet vehicles
- Recruiting new businesses to downtown Fresno by demonstrating the growth potential and the vision
- Program the central business district in an effort to showcase the community and engage a variety of audiences by:
- Producing a variety of events around downtown including the Market on Kern, Fiestas Patrias, the Downtown Christmas Parade, and the State of Downtown
- Encouraging other organizations to produce events in downtown and assisting where appropriate to ensure their success
- Marketing all downtown events through our website, newsletters and social media
PBID Resolution – Authorization by The City of Fresno
PBID Agreement – Signed by the City of Fresno and the Downtown Association of Fresno
The Downtown Fresno Partnership is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a vibrant downtown. Our Membership Program allows you to participate in downtown Fresno’s revitalization by supporting our successful initiatives. Your contribution is more than a membership – it’s a commitment to the success of our city.
Members-Only Membership Party
All members will be invited to a members-only party where they’ll receive an exclusive downtown update from our President and CEO as well as a special guest. Expect food, drink and fun meeting others dedicated to making downtown more awesome.
Make a difference downtown.
As an individual members, you’ll receive invitations to our events before the general public, discounts to our events, and opportunities to volunteer where you can make a difference downtown.
Propel downtown ahead.
Business members have the special opportunity to promote their company, host team building activities, and engage with dedicated downtown advocates who are helping make the heart of the city more vibrant. Receive company recognition via our website (page views over 1,400,000) and social media channels (combined reach over 13,000).
It all comes down to downtown! Stand with us as we promote, strengthen and enhance downtown Fresno. Click HERE to download our membership brochure.
Check out the live Work Zone Cam here or see a very cool time-lapse video here!
Have questions, comments, concerns or complaints about Fulton Street and Fulton construction?
Contact Craig Scharton: 559-281-9129
REMINDER: ALL BUSINESSES ARE OPEN DURING CONSTRUCTION
Questions about the program? E-mail Clean Team