A lot goes on behind the scenes outside the political and government structure that’s paying positive dividends for Connecticut’s largest city. OIB reached out to the gladiators putting in the work to create opportunities socially and economically.
What follows is an introduction to I Luv BPT, a social branding and community development agency strengthening Bridgeport through social engagement, economic empowerment and cultural awareness.
A co-retailing store, summer concert series, merchants association are products of their work.
The folks behind this measure include Natalie Pryce, Kelvin Ayala, Noel Sepulveda, Razul Branch and Keith Jackson. Here’s their story with more to come.
The story of I Luv Bpt is one that is playing out in many urban communities across the country. The rise of social entrepreneurs, activist and engaged residents wanting a better, more inclusive narrative of all the positives taking place in their communities.
I Luv Bridgeport started in 2013 as The Do Tank, an action focused think tank, and was seeking to answer several questions. How can we be the change we seek in our community? How do we clear the negative lens that has clouded Bridgeport’s most valuable assets; our citizens? Finally, how do we empower and position our communities for equal opportunity and success?
As a determined group of young adults at the time, we decided to align our skill sets. We were fighting for a place to belong, a place that would champion collaboration, and also be inspired by our creativity & innovation. We quickly learned that those spaces are not given but strategically taken by building capacity and collaborating with our community.
As of today, I Luv BPT’s DNA is recognizable throughout Bridgeport. We are the current producers of the Downtown Thursdays Summer Concert Series with over 2000+ attendees weekly. I Luv BPT has also successfully relaunched the Bridgeport’s Arts & Cultural Council (BACC), which produces the annual Bridgeport Arts Festival. The BACC strategically aligns the arts, culture, and tourism of the city. We have also initiated the Downtown Bridgeport Merchants Association (DBMA) to assist the growth of the downtown business community. We recently opened a co-retailing store front downtown, called the Collab Exchange which features the products of over 20 entrepreneurs and creatives.
We have taken a unique approach to tackling some of the issues we have seen as business owners here in the city. We are now engaged in many community development initiatives and have created sustainable partnerships with a variety of stakeholders. Together we help push the positive and unique attributes that make the city of Bridgeport a true gem for work and play. I Luv BPT plans on sharing many of the cool happenings and narratives popping up all over the city with the Only In Bridgeport readership. Together we will explore the real Bridgeport and tell the stories of those individuals, businesses, and institutions that are propelling the future of this great city. We are I Luv BPT and we invite you to explore with us.