The NoCo Arts and Cultural District – aptly named for its location North of Court Avenue – is Jeffersonville’s newest and most colorful point of interest.
Intimate, whimsical, full of color and completely walkable, NoCo is home to artists, makers, historians and inventors who are all working together to transform the area into an inspiring and intriguing place to live, work and visit. The district epitomizes what Jeffersonville champions as a city on the move: Creativity, community, innovation and progress.
- Community Wellbeing
- Investment and Revitalization
- Local Pride and Connectedness
- Support for Creatives
- Tourism Economic Impact
- Workforce Retention and Attraction
For over 100 years, Heuser Hardware has provided all of Jeffersonville's Hardware needs. Heuser Hardware is a quirky little store with a love for community, creativity and quality customer service. They have had thirteen owners over the past one hundred years and they have all been locals. With that said, you can't go into Heuser Hardware and NOT feel like you are family.
At the start of the Public Art Commission's inception back in 2012, we would go to Heuser Hardware often with paint needs for utility boxes or hardware needs in order to install a sculpture. As the years have passed, this homegrown group of self proclaimed "non-creatives" have started to tap into their artsy sides! The fellas at Heuser Hardware got together in 2016 and proposed to the Public Art Commission an idea for the narrative flood wall murals along the Ohio River that we refer to as "Painted Passages". They wanted the next mural panel painted to be that of the history of Heuser Hardware depicting the store front with a montage of all thirteen owners. The Public Art Commission saw value in their request and soon drafted a call to artists to find just the right painter. An Iowa based mural artist (with Jeffersonville roots) was chosen from the applicants and soon he drove in and spent weeks with the Heuser staff to select imagery and design a fairly complex composition to include every owner. The mural was completed in 2018. To see a picture of the mural check out this link: https://www.jeffersonvilleart.com/painted-passages-murals
Heuser Hardware is located in the heart of the NoCo Arts & Cultural District!
In an effort to show their support for the arts and artists in the NoCo Arts & Cultural District, in 2019, the owners commissioned local artist, Micheal Wimmer to create the sculpture titled: Hardware God, made of found objects (mostly tools). This sculpture is situated outside of the hardware store for all to enjoy. And, it was the first sculpture ever installed in the district! From providing hundreds of gallons of paint for our utility box painting initiative to murals, sculptures and even donating money and supplies to art making sessions, Heuser Hardware is a glowing example of how a traditionally "non-arts" partner can help support creative people, artistic processes and encourage others to appreciate the arts in our community!
January of 2019, Preston's Art Center opened a second location at the gateway of the NoCo Arts & Cultural District. This family run arts supply store has been around for 79 years and at one time was located in a neighboring Indiana town, New Albany. New Albany wanted the building that Preston Arts was located in, and in 2016, Preston's closed its doors in New Albany, yet kept its store in Louisville, Kentucky. This left a huge void in art suppliers (unless you wanted to go to a big box store to purchase general supplies). We pursued the Preston Arts Center owners in 2018 with the idea that the NoCo Arts & Cultural District was developing and what sorts of businesses we are trying to attract into the district. An art supply store was DEFINITELY desired!
After speaking with Andrew Preston (owner) he gave the following reasons for opening a second location and investing in the district:
- He told us that he was impressed with vision and direction of the newly forming NoCo Arts & Cultural District
- He said that he was interested in collaborating with the local makerspace -Maker 13, and had interest in participating in the actives that were happening within the NoCo Arts Center
- He was also inspired by the developments around the NoCo perimeter bringing in more housing as well as hotels for visitors attending events & activities
- He also realized that this part of the Louisville metro-area was not being served and was in need of an arts supplier
After the move in, Andrew did express that his expectations didn't quite match the reality. However, he has now started offering children and adult classes within the store which utilize the supplies that they carry. He said that classes have saved them, to this point, and have helped to keep them afloat.
The NoCo Arts & Cultural District has kept in contact with Andrew to check in on progress. We want them to succeed. Many NoCo planned activities have been shared with him in order to provide the new store with exposure to the community and surrounding area. Also, many opportunities for stipends have been available to the store in an effort to enrich NoCo experiences with live demonstrations.
Written by Morgan Koomer, who is the owner and operator of an amazing little bakery in the NoCo Arts District called - Sweets by Morgan!
"I started my business, Sweets by Morgan, in 2012 in my grandparents restaurant. My grandparents had owned that restaurant since I was 2. I practically grew up in the restaurant business. There was a need for homemade desserts instead of the frozen ones they were buying. I started to make homemade cakes and desserts at the restaurant and soon customers were asking how to order. I had no idea that my little dream would become what it is today. At Sweets by Morgan, we make 'made from scratch' sweets for all occasions. We specialize in cupcakes, cake pops and decorated royal icing cookies. We continue to stay true to our thoughts that bakery items should be delicious, homemade and beautiful. We are passionate about providing customers with delicious desserts that not only look good, they taste just as amazing.
We opened in our current location before the creation of the NoCo Arts & Cultural District. We've been watching it grow and being in the NoCo District has been exciting and fun! There is always a cool new art project, class for kids and adults on how to learn a new art skill and fun events going on in the district. I love that the district is unique. It feels like such an inspiring place in our city. Everywhere you turn seems to have art and creativity. I also love that it has brought new life to the area. My grandparents restaurant was down the street and I remember when I was a kid, no one wanted to come to downtown Jeff because there wasn't any new life here, it was just a bunch of old (starting to run down) buildings. People are actually seeing downtown Jeffersonville and the NoCo district as a destination to bring their family and friends. There's a lot to do and it seems to be growing all the time.
There was just a gateway sculpture installed right in front of our building! We loved watching the artist assemble and paint it. I feel like this district helps bring us together with artists that we may not have met otherwise. It's amazing how much talent this district has brought out of our community. We have been able to participate in numerous events by providing sweets. We are so thankful and excited to be in this growing district". - MK
Written by Tricia O'Connor who is the lead artist for the Upcycled Family Night and VERY creative person in our community.
“I moved to the New Albany/Jeffersonville area to be close to my family. Although a New Albany native, I had been away for years. We moved from northern Ohio (and previously lived in Indianapolis). I brought with me a wealth of experience in developing experiences for kids and families – both through my work at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the Eiteljorg as well as through a children’s free play program that I founded and ran in northern Ohio. I’m passionate about supporting kids, finding ways to support their unique interests and talents and ideally supporting their path to a successful adulthood. I also dabble in artwork (metal and textiles) … but I’m a social artist. I like to create art in community. And that’s how I found the Jeffersonville Public Arts Commission, the Jeffersonville Arts Alliance and the NoCo Arts & Cultural District. I was looking for classes or ways to be involved with a community of artists. I just showed up at one of their monthly meetings and I’ve been showing up ever since.
First I got involved in the Lantern Festival and workshops. And this past year, I had the opportunity to get more deeply involved by helping with a Fable Workshop for young and elementary-aged students as well as an Upcycled Play Night. Both Fable Workshops were so much fun … seeing kids experience fables in a new, personal and creative way was fabulous. With the help of other artists and creative thinkers, I made a little Fable Madlib to get their stories started … and it worked! Kids were busy writing and illustrating their own fables and then working at the next table to make a sculpture of their fable, just like the professional artist was within the same room. The Upcycled Play Night was also great. I had so much support from the Jeffersonville Public Arts Commission and Arts Alliance, they helped me connect with a local Girl Scout troop to assist that night, as well as the local recycling district to help provide materials and support. So many families and kids, from two-year-olds to high-school students, created environments and creative displays that night. There’s so much happening with the NoCo Arts and Cultural District in Jeffersonville!”
Abbey Road on the River, affectionately referred to as "AROTR", the world's largest Beatles-inspired music festival, is now in its 19th year! In 2020, the festival will be held May 21-25 over Memorial Day Weekend, at Big Four Station Park in Jeffersonville, IN. For festival goers, Abbey Road on the River is truly the weekend they mark their year by. That’s because each year when people from all over the U.S. and abroad come together to celebrate the music of one of the best bands of all time, they reunite with their “Beatles family” and celebrates 5 days of peace, love and rock-n-roll.
Attendees enjoy over 250 Beatles and 60’s themed concerts performed by 50 different bands from around the world. Attendees also enjoy a Beatles-merchandise marketplace, on-site food and beverages, retail and craft vendors, interactive art and a kid’s area. Jeffersonville Public Art has paired with the event planning team of this festival over the past three years to offer festival go-ers unique art making experiences!
Music fans from across the world have been regularly attending Abbey Road on the River since 2002. They come with friends, with kids, with grandkids, or even alone. They come because it’s a place where everybody’s happy. A place where the fans mingle with the bands, and the bands become fans when they watch fellow bands perform. A place where every day is like a magical mystery tour down memory lane. Abbey Road on the River is held at Big Four Station Park in downtown Jeffersonville, at the foot of the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge that connects to the Louisville waterfront. It’s only a 5-10 minute drive from downtown Louisville, KY or a 20 minute walk over Big Four Bridge from Waterfront Park. Jeffersonville is a beautiful backdrop to enjoy and celebrate Beatles music, but it offers numerous local eateries, cute shops, whimsical public art and the beautiful Ohio Riverfront all within walking distance to explore.
Abbey Road on the River hosted more than 23,000 people at the music festival’s five days in Jeffersonville in 2019. The festival itself has an economic impact of more than $1 million. SoIN Tourism tracked more than 1,800 hotel room nights that were attributed to Abbey Road on the River. Bands and festival goers come from 35 states and Puerto Rico as well as from 7 (or more) countries.
A local coffee shop (the only local coffee shop) is just a block past the geographic boundaries that outline the perimeter of the NoCo Arts & Cultural District. We share many of the same clientele. The owner of the coffee shop understands the importance of a robust arts center in the district and took it upon himself to offer an idea for a fundraiser to help pay for some of the renovations occurring within the arts center. His idea was to host an exhibition with a silent auction component in his coffee shop of work created by local artists. The artworks were on display for six months in the coffee shop. Each art piece was numbered and the patrons of the coffee shop were able to bid on the pieces throughout the six month exhibit. When the show came to a close, we had a wonderful closing reception and bids were closed. Half of the proceeds of the silent auction went back to the contributing artist (in hopes that they might participate again in 2020 and beyond) and the other half was donated to the renovations of the arts center. The donation was enough to pay for the acoustic panels in one of the music studios in the arts center!