We’re So Grateful in this Season of Giving!

Friday was a typical day in James Weldon Johnson Park, but also an extraordinary one. I went to grab a late lunch and greeted one of our City Council Members, getting takeout so they could get back to work doing wonderful things for our city. A handful of friends were still sitting in the tree-canopied Café, enjoying the cheerful, classic surf rock by The Rip Currents. A preschool-aged girl could not help herself but dance with abandon while her beaming mother snapped photos. And a man, likely part of our unhoused population, brings treasures instead of tips to the band. Today, it was a Grateful Dead Songbook. This is the essence of James Weldon Johnson Park, not just a park, but the heart of the city where all people can gather together in harmony.

Friends of James Weldon Johnson has had an exciting year helping to make Downtown the thriving destination we all hope for. Some of 2022 highlights include:

  • •     We added 14 people to our newly reinvigorated Volunteer Program
  • •     42 weekend or after-work cultural events were held, which comprised 17 rental events and 25 self-produced or partnered events, including our first JWJ’s Hip Hop Festival, a success that will be returning in 2023
  • •     Over 250+ creative individuals or groups presented in the park, giving a platform for more than 450 paid artists and 185 aspirational and youth creatives
  • •     900+ opportunities were given to Food Truck & Craft Vendor Entrepreneurs and 30 new Food Trucks were introduced Downtown this year at the park
  • •     Through partnerships, we awarded more than $5,000 to student artists and writers for their work, inspiring the next creative class
  • •     The park had an estimated 98,000 visitors from every zip code in Jacksonville, plus many from out of town


Every dollar we spend on producing and marketing our cultural presentations must be fundraised, so we could not offer these free programs to the public without our wonderful donors, partners, and sponsors. This giving season, please help us reach our goal of $10,000 raised to support our efforts to help bring people together and celebrate Jacksonville’s culture and history. Your tax-deductible donation of any amount will help us provide artist fees, sound, lighting and video, decorations, and kids’ craft projects ensuring our events are high quality, engaging and fun.

Friends of James Weldon Johnson Park believes that a vibrant Downtown full of history and culture improves our quality of life and builds a brighter future for all Jaxsons. You can help us build that bright future with a donation today. Visit here to donate safely and securely online.

Thank you for your time and your continued support of James Weldon Johnson Park. If you’d like any more information about our programs, please reach out to us via email, phone, or stop by the park!


With gratitude,

Liz McCoy
Executive Director
Friends of James Weldon Johnson Park
(904) 515-5098