- Created a vision statement and began to share it and to use our voice with the local town elected and staff officials.
- Organized activities within the community such as Smithville and East Catawba Ave neighborhood cleanups
- Built and operate the Cornelius Community Garden at Smithville
- Hosted and organized Fall Festivals at the former Rosenwald School and Community Center
- Established the annual Jazz Festival at Smithville Park
- Supported the Kiwanis Club in creating the Cornelius Splash Pad at Smithville Park
- Obtained pivotal grants from Davidson United Methodist Church, United Way, and Mecklenburg County Government
- Attended critical capability and racial equity training sessions
- Regularly host candidate debates and forums for election education
- Lead and host annual Black History Month events at Cornelius Townhall
- Conducted a public relations campaign to educate the broader community on the history, issues and dreams of Smithville
- Defeated a proposed NCDOT road through Smithville
- Partnered with Davidson College students and staff to further the goals of the Smithville Community Coalition
- Created a Smithville Revitalization Master Plan
Our annual jazz festival was started in a partnership between the Smithville Community Coalition, Bella Love, and The Town of Cornelius. Initially proceeds supported the funding of the Splash pad in Smithville Park. Proceeds from the Festival now go to the YMCA Summer Camp Scholarship Program which aids youth- who other could not afford- to attend up to 10 weeks of summer camp at the local YMCA.
Music is a big part of our community and hosting a festival annually brings residents of Cornelius and the surronding metro area together to experience arts and crafts, music, food and beverages. Attendance grows each year.
Local musicians perform throughout the day and into the evening. Dancing breaks out spontaneously as we hear some of the familiar tunes that lifts us off our feet.
Splash Pad at Smithville Park
The splash pad was the idea of a local Kiwanis Club. They brought the idea to the Town and Smithville CommUNITY Coalition. Support was universal and fund raising commenced, led by our Kiwanis partners. The Town trusted the funding would follow and began plans to construct and open the Splash pad. Funding flowed in from many sources including proceeds from the Jazz Festival, memorial and honorary donations to benches around the splash pad, neighbors and service organizations.
The Splash Pad opened to the public in August of 2016.
Cornelius Community Garden at Smithville
A Community Garden was organized and operated by the SCC. On the ground that had one been the familiar blue-painted home of the Caldwell Family. The Caldwells always had a big garden in their backyard. Only fitting that it now has a Community Garden.
Construction of phase 1 began in August, 2013 . Many volunteers from around Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville contributed time and labor. Local businesses donated materials and use of their equipment to created a well thought out garden. The first garden “Czar” was volunteer Bruce Wray, an SCC Board member and Huntersville resident. Bruce partnered with Our Towns Habitat for Humanity Construction Manager Manny Rosado and the Town PARC leadership team. Construction, irrigation and planting all came together. The land is leased by the town to the Smithville Community Coalition and the water is provided by the town. Garden boxes are rented for a nominal fee yearly to town residents to cover the insurance and miscellaneous supplies.
Phase 2 was funded by the Town. Southenders (Retirees) Club completed that construction in April, 2015
Cornelius Black History Month Program
Since its re-establishment in 2011, the Smithville Community Coalition has partnered with the Town of Cornelius and hosted a Black History Month Program at town hall each February. The programs have featured local families sharing their history, notable citizens from the neighborhood, music and art, local church histories, and history of the Rosenwald School.
The Smithville community has a rich history of which we are all proud. The Smithville CommUNITY Coalition and The Smithville Neighborhood Revitalization efforts plan to preserve and celebrate this history.
Allies, like writer Pam Kelley, have helped us tell our story and raise public awareness at critical times: The Fight to Save Smithville
Erica Bryant, WSOC news anchor, along with reporters Elsa Gillis and Joe Bruno, ran Smithville Neighborhood stories multiple times on local news to share our history and challenges. Click on the links below:
Ron Potts and others have shared the history of Smithville in many venues- helping local churches, community groups, and historic societies become allies and supporters in the public arena.