The Little Italy Neighborhood Association, Inc., (hereinafter also referred to as "LINA" or "Little Italy Association"), is a NY State 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and registered public charity.
LINA has the specific consent of the NYS Attorney General to act as a district management corporation, and to undertake efforts to commemorate and revitalize the Little Italy Historic District, located along the Lyell Avenue Corridor in the City of Rochester, New York.
Donations made to the Little Italy Neighborhood Association are tax deductible, and help fund our organization's mission, goals and cause.
LINA works with, and advocates on behalf of, area residents and business owners, in areas of public safety; beautification; promotion; revitalization and economic development.
Please see the "Downloads" section of this website, for a detailed "Historical Narrative" about the Italian-American community's 150 year history along the Lyell Avenue Corridor, and for a "Map" of the Little Italy Historic District. Also in the Downloads section, is a PDF version of City of Rochester Historian Blake McKelvey's article: "The Italians of Rochester, an Historical Review", describing the period from around 1860 - 1960.
Our mission is to commemorate the rich history of Rochester's 150 year-old "Little Italy Historic District," as a historic district, located along the Lyell Avenue corridor, and to promote revitalization, development, preservation and restoration of the historic district and its surrounding areas. We hope to help attract new investment to the area (both public funding and private investment), which would help create new jobs and help alleviate poverty in this struggling and long-neglected area of Rochester. Our mission includes facilitating the transformation of the district area into a safe, vibrant, and sustainable 21st-century urban neighborhood, modeled upon the very successful and inclusive Little Italy San Diego “Community Benefit District” model. Please see: www.LittleItalySD.com for more info.
We would like to help generate the rebirth of the Lyell Corridor, so that it becomes an attractive business and cultural epicenter, and a revived destination place. The area has suffered from many years of de-urbanization, urban blight, poverty and neglect. Our hope is that our efforts will not only commemorate the history of the area, but also lead to changing the negative perception of the area. We are working hard to help bring about a new "economic driver" for the Upstate NY region, which will potentially attract new business investment to the area; create jobs; help alleviate poverty; help fill the area's vacant properties; reduce crime; increase home ownership opportunities; address the public realm issues of the area; and ultimately provide new educational, sport, tourism, culinary, multi-cultural programs and recreational opportunities for people of all ages and cultural backgrounds.
The Lyell Avenue Corridor is a primary North West Gateway into the City of Rochester, which ushers-in thousands of people each day to Downtown Rochester. The area is ripe for revitalization and investment, and its current state of affairs directly affects neighboring projects, such as the planned $500 Million Dollar "ROC the Riverway" project, the "High Falls District," the Genesee Brewery, the planned "Greentopia Eco-District," and the new "MCC Student Campus" operating right next door, at Kodak on State Street. Our mission also includes helping the less fortunate people of our community, by raising funds to benefit children and the elderly, as well as the hungry, poor, needy, abused, and homeless, served by other local 501(c)(3) charities.
We are committed to promoting and facilitating revitalization and economic development along the Lyell Corridor, while also encouraging preservation and restoration, with our partners at the Landmark Society of WNY, the City of Rochester, Monroe County, and New York State. We will work diligently to promote the area's multi-cultural history and its rich diversity. We will promote and generate regional tourism, and we are driven by our motivation to revitalize the Lyell Corridor and its surrounding areas; and very passionately driven by our vision to create a safe, vibrant and sustainable Community Benefit District in the area, for all to enjoy together, as a true historic treasure of Rochester.
LINA's goals include, but are not limited to, the following: 1) Welcoming & attracting new business, housing and retail investment; 2) Helping create jobs and promoting greater economic prosperity; 3) Raising funds for the needy, hungry, homeless and less fortunate; 4) Helping alleviate poverty through economic development, job training, and by promoting entrepreneurship and education; 5) Promoting recreational, cultural, sport and culinary opportunities; 6) Fostering unity, solidarity and collaboration within the community; and 7) Promoting cultural exchange and information-sharing, and most importantly, promoting diversity, warmth and inclusiveness.
Our longer-term vision foresees some very exciting developments, such as a new downtown "Little Italy Welcome Center"; a Little Italy Federal Credit Union; an authentic Italian Café and Retail Market, which would feature coffee, beverages, and walkable access to fresh foods from across the globe; an arts theatre and conference center; and a new Little Italy Newsletter to be published quarterly, with updates on the area's exciting events and store openings, among many other interesting initiatives that could help create greater prosperity in the area, and help enrich the lives of all Rochesterians and those who visit the area. Our vision is for a safe, inclusive and family-oriented district, which acts as a cultural epicenter for the area, and acts as a vibrant destination place for the entire community to celebrate, treasure and enjoy.
The Rochester area is ranked second only to Staten Island in NY State, and ninth in the entire nation, with regard to its number of Italian-Americans; but oddly enough, with the exception of local food establishments, the Italian-American community's cultural events and programs have been absent from Downtown Rochester for many years. The Italian culture is now flourishing again in Rochester, with a number of new arrivals expected. Many other new cultures are also migrating to the Rochester area, and they utilize the same Lyell Avenue Corridor as a place to first settle into when they arrive. They seek the American Dream just as the Italian people and community did for over 150 years, and still do, even to this day.
A fantastic "Little Italy Festival" was held on Aug 12 & 13, 2017, for the first time in over 30 years in Downtown Rochester, demonstrating the strength of the Italian-American community. It was ranked as a "Best Cultural Festival" of Rochester, by the readers of City Newspaper.
The 5th Annual Little Italy Festival was held on June 16, 2018, at Marina Auto Stadium, to celebrate the official 150th Anniversary of Italian American history in the City of Rochester (1868 - 2018)! The event succeeded in its mission to be the first major public event held in the Lyell area in over four decades, and helped draw attention to the area's need for revitalization.
Our most sincere hope is that all those who collaborate with our association and participate in our programs, feel the true warmth and friendship of the Italian-American people and culture.
In September 2018, our exciting Little Italy Revitalization Initiative, received national-level recognition, and was named "Rochester's Best City Center Revitalization Strategy," by Revitalization: The Journal of Urban, Rural and Environmental Resilience, a leading urban planning group from the Washington, D.C. area.
We are truly grateful and honored by this very prestigious designation!
Read all about it by clicking on the following web-link:
Please follow us on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages: @LittleItalyROC for updates about our exciting programs and events.
Thank you sincerely for your kind support!
Grazie tante e cordiali saluti a tutti!