For almost 27 years, the Charlotte office of Shook Kelley has been deeply involved in the urban neighborhood we created—South End. One of these placemaking efforts in recent times is Front Porch Sundays. Beginning in 2015, Shook Kelley, in conjunction with Historic South End, inaugurated a Sunday ritual. On one Sunday each month, a local vendor market lines our parking lot and our "porch" along the Rail Trail with vendors selling a variety of cool products and wares, food trucks, live music and craft beer.
The idea—inspired by showcasing local vendors while also driving foot traffic to local business—is another prime example of Shook Kelley's convening efforts: bringing people together while encouraging them to explore a walkable environment. As growth continues to change the face of the district, the need is evermore to nuture and celebrate the many small businesses that shape South End—and to give it's residents meaningful moments to connect.
The inaugural Front Porch Sundays began with a couple handfuls of vendors and food trucks. The second event in early September brought 36 vendors and over a thousand patrons. The market returned to our porch for 2016, kicking off in April and repeating once a month thereafter. The next market event for 2017 will be Sunday, June 4, from 12-5pm.