Siena has partnered with AVillage, Inc. and other key community stakeholders to gather community input for various AVillage initiatives. While this partnership started to advance a grocery store initiative, it quickly moved to more general wealth building support leading to the expansion of the South End Night Market (SENM) and the creation of the Nascent Black Entrepreneur Fellows Program.

The four-pillar approach to building community wealth is a culmination of best practice and academic research, pop-up and traditional focus groups, review of community documents, and interviews with community thought leaders.

Summer 2021 Accomplishments:

  • Creation of a community garden table that partially sources from community gardeners to bring fresh fruit and vegetables to the South End Night Market
  • Completion of a feasibility study for the implementation of a Community Investment Trust in Albany
  • Piloted an online purchasing system for the South End Night Market
  • Increased social media engagement on the SENM pages

Next Steps:

  • Build the cultural elements of the South End Night Market
  • Further develop connections to community gardeners for the Market table
  • Purchase a CIT building and implement the Albany CIT

Ruth Kassel