project leader
Jennifer R
The roundabout at the intersections of Genessee St., Park Ave., State St., and Oneida St.
Upstate NY
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the project

We are working to make the One World Flower Fest a day long celebration of spring, mothers, art and culture in Utica's Oneida Square. The festival is a creative placemaking project that will beautify and enliven the Square and make it the place to be on Saturday, May 9th (Mother's Day Weekend). We hope to make the neighborhood pulse and beat with people, music, art, and positive energy.

The festival will produce lasting social, aesthetic, and economic effects on the neighborhood. Streetscape improvements will last the summer, the event will attract future users, funders, and investors, and energy to the ‘heart’ of Utica, and the planning process will catalyze future collaboration among residents, businesses, and organizations. We’ll see what we can do when we work together, collectively combining our talents, resources, and creativity. 

the steps

1. Our growing coalition of individuals and organizations active in the Utica community will finalize the festival’s design and programming, identify collaborators to take on projects and events, and publicize our fundraising campaign (1 week).

2. With the grant money, we will purchase the tools and materials for a series of community ‘making’ events:’ barn-raising-style community gatherings in which we’ll construct community chalkboards, flower banners, handmade street furniture, a big flower garland to go on the Oneida Square monument, wall murals, container gardens, chalk art crosswalk stenciling, flower-tree sculptures, flower globes designed by area artists, sign-boards, kiosks, and a community ‘nest’ art garden on the lawns of Munson Williams Proctor Institute (2 weeks).

3. The weeks before the event, we will publicize the festival schedule in local media, generate buzz (in social media and on the streets), ready the festival components, and host a neighborhood clean-up of the square (2 weeks).

4. On Saturday, May 9th, we’ll throw Oneida Square a grand party, honor all mothers, and revel flowers, artwork, culture, springtime, and the power of community (1 day).

5. The One World Flower Festival will live on past mother’s day--it will have dispersed flowers, art, community, and joy throughout Utica. Most of the physical improvements will last for the summer, and the memory of the event will beckon people back to the Square and inspire organizers to repeat the event next year (and beyond).

why we're doing it

We want to bring people and affection back to Oneida Square, a neighborhood was once served a grand center of Utica’s urban life. ‘Urban Renewal’ of the ‘50s gave the intersection over to cars and traffic. The unsafe pedestrian environment, together with industrial decline, caused people to abandon Oneida Square and left it vulnerable to crime. Uticans perceive their Square as lonely, sad, abandoned, bleak, dangerous and, in the recent words of one local teen, “boring!”

Utica faces challenges not unlike its big sister cities of Detroit, Cleveland, East St. Louis, and Camden. It is a distressed post-industrial rust belt community with a current population of 62,235, down from 100,000 in the 1960s. The majority of Utica, including the Oneida Square neighborhood, is designated a distressed Census Tract with greater than 51% poverty. Utica’s urban landscape retains less than 50% of its original tree canopy, many acres of unremediated brownfield sites, and upwards of 3,500 vacant lots where houses and factories once stood. Utica serves as a refugee haven, with recent refugees hailing from Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq, Burma, and Thailand. The increased diversity has brought about a resurgence of Utica’s urban life.   

The One World Flower Festival is a pro-active action to bring people and place together in a positive way around Oneida Square. It will provide an opportunity to produce safe, fun, and memorable experiences that foster happiness, joy, and a sense of community pride. The Festival will help Uticans leverage local capacity to bring social, aesthetic, and economic benefits to the neighborhood, proving to the world that Oneida Square is a place in which to live, shop, work, invest, and to share with family and friends. 


Updated disbursed budget:

Funds raised will go towards the reimbursement of expenses (planter troughs).

RAISED = $325.00
less ioby Platform Fee  waived
less 3rd Party Payment Processing Fee (3%) $9.47

Updated Budget including in kind donations given!

SUBTOTAL = $10,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
3rd Party Payment Processing Fee (3%) $300
TOTAL TO RAISE = $10,335



Original Budget

  Number Cost per item Total Notes
Globes 50 93 4650 $4,000 aquaresin $500 yoga balls $150 cloths and other miscellaneous
Chalkboard 1 200 200  
Street Chairs     500 $200 for plywood, 300 for buckets
Round Benches     320  
Kiosks 2 200 400  
Signboards 12 50 600  
Banners 8 250 2000  
Planters     1000  
Stickers     200  
Printing NA NA 500  
Sculptures 6 300 1800  
Spray Chalk NA NA 50  
Street Tables 10 35 350  
Portrait Booth 1 150 150  
Large Flowers 15 35 525  
Lanterns 10 40 400  
Trough Planters 12 150 1800  
Grand Total     15445  


SUBTOTAL = $15,455
ioby Platform Fee  $35
3rd Party Payment Processing Fee (3%) $464
TOTAL TO RAISE = $15,954



Sorry, but this project doesn't have any updates yet.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Debra R
  • I Love Oneida Square!
  • P. Horrigan & S. Sears