Pop Up El Paso

HANNAH COSTER/THE ARKA TECH: Artists performed at the Brother Down Sound stage during Pop Up El Paso on Saturday.
HANNAH COSTER/THE ARKA TECH: Artists performed at the Brother Down Sound stage during Pop Up El Paso on Saturday.
HANNAH COSTER/THE ARKA TECH: Artists performed at the Brother Down Sound stage during Pop Up El Paso on Saturday.

Uncommon Communities of Pope and Yell Counties hosted a Pop Up El Paso event on Saturday, Oct. 22 to show the Russellville community the possibilities of cultural and economic growth along El Paso Avenue and link Arkansas Tech University to downtown Russellville.

Pop Up El Paso festivities included live music, food trucks, a dog park, a mobile library, face painting and more. Arkansas Tech University and Miller Boskus Lack Architects, P.A. collaborated on planning PopUp El Paso as a means to gather public opinions on how the community would like to see El Paso develop.

Tabitha Duvall, communication director at the Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce, said that an information station would be available at the event so people could leave their ideas.

Members of the community were also encouraged to post photos of their ideas on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #ExperienceElPaso.

“We try to pay attention to the hashtag #experienceelpaso to see what people want to have,” Duvall said.

The lineup of music included local artists, such as Jamie Lou Connolly, William Blackart, Phil Higdon, Cole Birmingham, John Severs, Robb McCormick and Matthew Fatty Richie.

Duvall said the event was a good opportunity for people to see what El Paso Avenue could potentially be.

“We’ve really begun to build that relationship, but to really have that physical connection, to have that direct corridor from Arkansas Tech to downtown, to have that connection strengthened is exciting,” said Duvall.

Attractions at Pop Up El Paso also included a farmers market, chalk mural, a mobile bank, games, and a selfie scavenger hunt.

Students in Arkansas Tech’s basic photography class provided artwork for an outdoor art gallery. Along with the art gallery, local businesses set up shop to help the community visualize the potential of El Paso Avenue.

“We’ve already gotten a start with a few great, fun little businesses on El Paso, but we want to see it continue to grow,” Duvall said.