Capture the Excitement

CAMBRIA COUNTY—The excitement surrounding Vision 2025 has really taken off in the last year, and now it’s adding a new twist.

Vision 2025, Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership, and Community Foundation for the Alleghenies have announced a new opportunity designed to help Vision 2025 Capture Teams make a difference in Greater Johnstown. So, what does this mean? The Capture Awards will provide at least $25,000 in awards of $500 or $1,000 to active Capture Teams that are working within the Vision 2025 framework.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Discover Downtown and the Community Foundation on the Capture Awards. This program will enable Capture Teams to accelerate their community development efforts and will encourage new and innovative civic engagement projects throughout Johnstown,” said Ryan Kieta, Vision 2025 organizer.

“The Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership is pleased to help provide this opportunity to the Vision 2025 Capture Teams who are taking the initiative to work on projects that make our community better,” said Melissa Radovanic, Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership president.

The Capture Awards were announced at a the Vision 2025 Progress Party, which was open to the public and held at Ace’s in the Cambria City section of Johnstown on May 23.

“While we certainly are glad to provide some needed financial support to the Capture Teams, from the Community Foundation’s perspective, we also want the awards to recognize the community involvement of the people who make up the teams and to encourage even more people to get involved. We want people on the Capture Teams to understand they are the most important part of the whole Vision 2025 effort,” said Mike Kane, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies president.

At the Progress Party, 15 team leaders provided updates regarding their team’s accomplishments since the launch of the Vision 2025 program.

“The Vision 2025 program has exceeded all expectations that I or anyone involved in the facilitation of the program had last year. I credit the success of Vision 2025 entirely to our Capture Teams and their tireless leaders. Currently we have approximately 30 active Capture Teams within the framework, working on a broad range of initiatives such as neighborhood development efforts, economic development projects, and beautification and greening strategies,” said Kieta.

Vision 2025 is an exciting movement that aims to combine perception with planning in order to turn the community’s dreams into reality. It started about two years ago, when a group of local leaders began meeting with city officials to discuss ways in which they could work together more effectively. As a result, in early 2015 Carnegie Mellon University’s Remaking Cities Institute was commissioned to conduct an intensive study of Johnstown. The result was the Vision 2025 framework, which focuses on three key areas: a strong sense of community, life-sustaining landscapes, and a vibrant and open local economy.

“The Foundation has been a partner in making Vision 2025 successful with both financial support as well as other resources, such as our time and our network. We are committed to being a part of this community-wide effort, not just now but for the long term. The Vision 2025 framework provides a platform for our community to work together and it’s really heartening to see that happen,” said Kane. “The framework allows for continuing evolution. So if you’re not a part of it now, please follow the work that’s being done and help to add to it by bringing your ideas.”

The vision for Johnstown’s future is already capturing the public’s excitement. The creation of the Capture Awards hopes to generate even more involvement. Capture Teams can apply online at www.johnstown25.com for Capture Awards. Applications will be reviewed by a committee and awards will be distributed monthly.

To read more about the effort, click on Vision.